* Traders eye this week's U.S. GDP, jobs data
* Two-day Federal Reserve meeting also on calendar
* U.S. pending home sales unexpectedly fall
(Updates prices, adds comments)
By Sam Forgione
NEW YORK, July 28 The U.S. dollar traded mostly
flat against a basket of major currencies on Monday, halting
last week's advance but still hovering near six-month highs as
traders awaited a glut of economic data and policy releases.
The dollar inched lower against the euro but still traded
near eight-month highs against the shared currency ahead of
Wednesday's release of U.S. second-quarter gross domestic
product growth and a Federal Reserve policy announcement.
Traders also eyed Friday's report on U.S. nonfarm payrolls
growth for July.
"We're probably going to see some quiet ahead of the major
risk events," said Mark McCormick, currency strategist at Credit
Agricole in New York, in reference to the slight moves in major
Traders are watching the Fed closely for hints of a more
hawkish monetary policy after a two-day policy meeting ends on
Wednesday. Economists forecast U.S. GDP grew 3 percent in the
second quarter after a sharp contraction of 2.9 percent in the
first quarter, and expect U.S. employers to have added 233,000
jobs in July, according to Reuters polls.
Stronger-than-expected U.S. data on services sector activity
on Monday had little impact on major currencies. Financial data
firm Markit said its preliminary services Purchasing Managers
Index was 61.0 in July, unchanged from June and above
expectations for a reading of 59.8.
The National Association of Realtors said Monday that
contracts to buy previously owned U.S. homes unexpectedly fell
in June. NAR's Pending Home Sales Index, based on contracts
signed last month, fell 1.1 percent to 102.7 and confounded
economists' expectations for a 0.5 percent gain.
The weakness could have also kept the dollar from rising
given the importance of housing on the U.S. economy, said Eric
Viloria, a currency strategist at Wells Fargo Securities in New
The euro last traded 0.03 percent higher against
the dollar at $1.3433, just above an eight-month low of $1.3421
touched on Friday. The dollar last traded flat against the
Japanese yen at 101.865 yen, and was down 0.03 percent
against the Swiss franc at 0.90425 franc.
The U.S. dollar index, which measures the dollar
against a basket of six major currencies, was last flat at
81.030. U.S. government bond yields edged higher after dropping
on Friday, with the benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury note
down 6/32 in price to yield 2.49 percent.
Analysts said the rouble fell on concerns over the
impact of new European sanctions against Moscow. The dollar was
last up 1.11 percent against the Russian currency to trade at
"If these sanctions get more aggressive ... it has the
potential to have a catastrophic impact on the Russian economy,"
said McCormick of Credit Agricole.
(Reporting by Sam Forgione; Editing by Nick Zieminski and James