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US Dollar dips against major currencies

The US$ fell a bit against major currencies on Wednesday as a positive economic report reduced safety demand for the greenback. US home prices rose by 0.9% on a seasonally-adjusted basis from April to May, according to the Federal Housing Finance Agency’s monthly House Price Index (NYSE:HPI). The increase in June was larger than expectations. US mortgage applications index rose by 2.8% last week, the Mortgage Bankers Association reported. It was the third consecutive week that the index rose, while the applications remain on low levels. Home affordability has vastly improved with lower mortgage rates and home prices. But high unemployment rate still keeps many potential buyers out of the market, analysts said.  US Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke told a Senate panel on Wednesday that the economic recovery depends primarily on the evolution of the labor market and consumer spending. On the economy, high unemployment is “the most pressing issue” as the nation struggles to emerge from recession, Bernanke said. The remarks were in line with his testimony to Congress on Tuesday, preventing the dollar from falling further. Profit reports released by major US companies on Wednesday are mixed. Apple, Boeing and Starbucks posted strong quarterly results, while reports of AMD, Wells Fargo and Morgan Stanley were disappointing. The euro bought 1.4228 $ in late New York trading compared with 1.4195$ it bought late Tuesday. The GBP rose to 1.6464 $ from 1.6432$.