* Dollar rises following talks between Ukraine, Russia
* Positive U.S. housing data supports dollar
* Pound gains on BoE Governor Carney's comments
* Eyes on FOMC minutes, Jackson Hole central bankers'
(Updates prices, adds comments)
By Sam Forgione
NEW YORK, Aug 18 The U.S. dollar rose against a
basket of major currencies on Monday after the threat of
increased tensions in Ukraine appeared to diminish and positive
U.S. housing data supported the greenback.
The conflict between Russia and Ukraine was viewed as
somewhat less heated following talks among Russia, Germany,
France and Ukraine on Sunday. Russia said all objections to it
sending a humanitarian convoy to Ukraine had been resolved, but
no progress was made toward a ceasefire between government and
rebel forces in the east of the country.
However, the region remained unsettled as Ukraine accused
pro-Russian rebels on Monday of hitting a refugee convoy of
buses with rocket fire near the eastern city of Luhansk, but the
separatists denied responsibility.
"The fact that you didn't see any further escalation over
the weekend - even if things didn't get a whole lot better - was
already seen as a positive signal," said Ian Gordon, FX
strategist at Bank of America Merrill Lynch in New York.
Data showing U.S. home builder sentiment rose in August to
its highest since January supported the dollar. The NAHB/Wells
Fargo Housing Market index rose to 55 in August from 53 in July,
the group said. It was the third straight monthly gain and
topped the mean estimate of analysts polled by Reuters for a
reading of 53.
The euro was last down 0.28 percent against the
dollar at $1.33615. The dollar was last up 0.19 percent against
the Japanese yen at 102.53 yen, and was up 0.47 percent
against the Swiss franc at 0.9062 franc.
The U.S. dollar index, which measures the dollar
against a basket of six major currencies, was last up 0.18
percent at 81.570.
The British pound was last up 0.2 percent against the
dollar at $1.6728 following comments from Bank of England
Governor Mark Carney that he would not have to wait for real
wages to turn positive before raising interest rates.
"It was a much bigger comment than the underlying price
movement showed," said Richard Scalone, co-head of foreign
exchange at TJM Brokerage in Chicago. He said the pound would
likely continue to rally.
Yields on U.S. Treasuries rose. The yield on Benchmark
10-year U.S. Treasury notes was last at 2.39
percent, from 2.35 percent late on Friday.
Analysts looked ahead to Wednesday's release of minutes from
the Federal Reserve's July policy meeting and comments from a
global central banking summit in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, starting
on Thursday, although expectations were that the Federal Reserve
would remain dovish on monetary policy.
"The (Fed's) view that there is still a lot of slack in the
labor market is winning out," said Bank of America's Gordon.
"The overall tone of the committee is going to be a cautious
(Reporting by Sam Forgione; Editing by Dan Grebler)