The dollar rose against the pound and the yen but fell against other major currencies on Tuesday amid gloomy economic data from the U.S. and Britain.
The U.S. Commerce Department reported Tuesday that real gross domestic product (GDP) in the third quarter declined at an annual rate of 0.5 percent.
"Today's GDP report further demonstrates that our economy continues to face critical challenges that directly affect families, workers and businesses throughout our nation," Commerce Secretary Carlos M. Gutierrez said.
The decline was unchanged from an estimate made a month ago for the July-September period and followed a growth pace of 2.8 percent in the second quarter.
GDP measures the value of all goods and services produced within a country. Many analysts fear the third-quarter contraction in GDP will be followed by a sharper decline in the current quarter and the next.
In a separate report, the Commerce Department said new home sales slipped 2.9 percent last month and fell 35.3 percent from a year earlier to an annual pace of 407,000 in November. That was the lowest level since January 1991.
Existing home sales in the U.S. dropped by 8.6 percent in November to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.49 million units, the National Association of Realtors reported Tuesday.
Britain's GDP shrank by 0.6 percent in the third quarter, more than the previous estimate of 0.5 percent, the Britain's Office for National Statistics said.
The euro bought 1.3967 dollars in late New York trading compared with 1.3958 dollars late Monday. The pound fell to 1.4735dollars from 1.4865 dollars.
The dollar fell to 1.2133 from 1.2185 Canadian dollars, and from 1.0916 to 1.0871 Swiss francs but rose to 90.68 Japanese yen from 90.07.
(Xinhua News Agency December 24, 2008)