US Dollar Loses Ground Against Euro as Orders of Durable Goods Miss Estimates

The US dollar retreated against the euro on Wednesday to its lowest level in two days following a data release that revealed lower than expected demand for durable goods in October. Investors are now anticipating the minutes of the Federal Open Market Committee’s latest monetary policy meeting, which is due to be published later today.

The US Census Bureau published its monthly report on manufacturers’ shipments and orders earlier today. The report stated that new orders of durable goods manufactured in the United States declined 1.2% to $236.0 billion in October following a revised gain of 2.2% to $238.8 billion in September. Meanwhile, analysts had expected a 0.3% gain last month.

The drop in October was the first since July. It also marked the biggest drop in almost a year, following a 4.8% loss in November 2016. On the other hand, core durable goods, which excludes transportation, increased 0.4% last month following a 1.1% increase in the month before, despite expectations of a 0.5% gain. New orders for transportation equipment declined $3.5 billion or 4.3% in October to $77.1 billion.

The report added that shipments of durable goods increased 0.1% to $241.0 billion in October following a 1.0% increase in September. Shipments of metals were responsible for most of the gain with a 1.5% increase to $19.9 billion.

The report on durable goods orders overshadowed a separate report that showed better consumer confidence than previously expected in November. The University of Michigan said that its monthly survey revealed that consumer sentiment was stronger than expected in November at 98.5. The survey also showed that the consumer expectations index remained strong this month at 88.9.

Investors are now waiting for the Federal Reserve to release the minutes of the Federal Open Market Committee’s latest meeting at 18:00 GMT today. The minutes may contain signals on the direction of the central bank’s monetary policy in the short term.

EUR/USD traded at 1.1795 at 15:30 GMT on Wednesday, the pair’s highest level since November 20. EUR/USD began trading today at 1.1739. GBP/USD was at 1.3279, a level last seen on November 2, after starting the day at 1.3243.

The Dollar Index, which measures the strength of the US currency against its major counterparts, declined to 93.50 at 15:27 GMT today from 93.95 yesterday.

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