The U.S. dollar traded mixed against major
currencies in late New York trading on Wednesday as Federal Reserve
Chairman Ben Bernanke reiterated the central bank' s view on the
economy and maintained committed to easing policy further if needed.
During the second day of testimony, Bernanke reiterated the central bank's concerns about the economy. However, he said he didn't expect the U.S. economy to fall back into recession.
The central bank chief also emphasized that the Fed would be ready to take necessary actions.
On the economic front, the Commerce Department reported Wednesday that housing starts rose 6.9 percent last month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 760,000 units, the highest since October 2008. The upbeat housing data helped lift investors' confidence about the U.S. housing market and limited the dollar's gain. The dollar index rose 0.028 to 83.196 on Wednesday.
Meanwhile, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Wednesday she was "optimistic" that the euro can be saved, but that more work must be done. Her words failed to lift the euro on Wednesday as the shared currency continued to decline against the dollar.
In late Wednesday trading, the dollar bought 78.80 Japanese yen, compared with 79.09 from late Tuesday. The euro fell to 1.2264 dollars from 1.2289.
The British pound also fell to 1.5643 dollars from 1.5647. The dollar rose from 0.9775 Swiss francs to 0.9791, but fell to 1.0111 Canadian dollars from 1.0127.
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