* Dollar rises following talks between Ukraine, Russia
* Positive U.S. housing data supports dollar
* Pound gains on BoE Governor Carney's comments
(Updates prices, adds comments, changes dateline; previous
By Sam Forgione
NEW YORK, Aug 18 The U.S. dollar rose against a
basket of major currencies on Monday on reduced concerns over
Russia and Ukraine and positive U.S. housing data.
Tensions between Russia and Ukraine were viewed as 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.
"The market was a little bit concerned that things could
flare up in the Ukraine region over the weekend, and the fact
that they haven't has made the market relax a little bit," said
Douglas Borthwick, managing director at Chapdelaine Foreign
Exchange in New York.
The dollar sold off on Friday against the yen and Swiss
franc on risk aversion after Ukraine's president said artillery
had destroyed part of a Russian armored column that had crossed
into Ukraine during the night. The yen and Swiss franc tend to
benefit in times of global tension because of their deep
Data showing U.S. home builder sentiment rose in August to
its highest since January as labor market conditions improved
also 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.
"People had a downbeat view of housing, so this is
suggesting it's normalizing, not collapsing," said Thierry
Albert Wizman, global interest rates and currencies strategist
at Macquarie Ltd in New York, in reference to the U.S. housing
The euro was last down 0.28 percent against the
dollar at $1.3363. The dollar was last up 0.22 percent against
the Japanese yen at 102.58 yen, and was up 0.42 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 0.19
percent at 81.577.
The British pound was last up 0.14 percent against the
dollar at $1.6713 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.
"There's certainly a belief in the market that the UK could
be one of the first to start raising rates," said Chapdelaine's
Yields on U.S. Treasuries rose, supporting the dollar, after
they plunged on Friday on worries about Ukraine and Russia.
Benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury notes were last down
11/32 in price to yield 2.38 percent, from 2.35 percent late on
(Reporting by Sam Forgione)