Dollar mixed on downbeat consumer confidence

By Julianne Pepitone, staff reporter

NEW YORK ( -- The dollar gained against the euro and pound but sank against the yen, on renewed worries after a report showed U.S. consumer confidence fell sharply in February after three straight months of improvement.

What prices are doing: The dollar gained 0.6% on the euro to trade at $1.35 and also against the British pound, rising 0.3% to $1.54. But the greenback sank against the Japanese yen, falling 1.1% to trade at ¥90.14.

Click the chart to view other foreign exchange rates.

What's moving the market: On Tuesday morning, research group The Conference Board said its closely watched measure of consumer confidence fell to 46.0 in February from 56.5 in January. That's the lowest level since April 2009.

A reading above 90 signals a stable economy, while 100 or greater is an indication of strong growth.

"The consumer confidence report gave support to [the dollar], to be sure," said Brian Dolan, chief currency strategist at

That's because the dollar and yen are considered safe havens -- investors tend to turn to those currencies on downbeat news. Conversely, the riskier stock market fell on the confidence report.

Outlook: Dolan said the dollar's strength should persist in coming weeks, as debt concerns in the euro zone and Japan will keep downward pressure on those currencies.

"The U.S. is by no stretch of the mind in positive territory," Dolan said, "but it's less worse off than other economic regions." To top of page

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