The U.S. currency traded near a one-week low against the euro before a report economists say will show consumer confidence dropped last month. The dollar declined after Fed Chairman Ben S. Bernanke yesterday signaled the central bank may lower interest rates again to avert a recession. The yen weakened after stocks in Asia rallied, boosting demand for higher-yielding assets purchased with loans made in Japan.
The U.S. currency fell for a second day and traded at $1.4685 per euro by 7:18 a.m. in New York, from $1.4643 yesterday. It has lost 1.3 percent this week, the most since the period ended Dec. 28. The dollar was at 107.71 yen, from 107.87. The U.S. dollar index traded on ICE futures in New York, which tracks the currency against six major counterparts, fell to 75.99, the lowest since Feb. 5.
The U.S. currency declined after Bernanke said yesterday the Fed ``will act in a timely manner as needed to support growth.'' The world's largest economy is ``clearly on the edge'' of a recession, former Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan said in Houston yesterday. The economy is at ``stall speed'' and the odds of a contraction are ``50 percent or better,'' he said.
The Reuters/University of Michigan index of consumer sentiment probably dropped to 76, from January's 78.4 reading, according to economists polled by Bloomberg. Another report today may show international buying of U.S. financial assets slowed in December, according to a Treasury survey.