* 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, changes byline, dateline;
By Sam Forgione
NEW YORK, July 28 The U.S. dollar edged lower
against a basket of major currencies on Monday, halting last
week's strongest advance since March but still hovering near
six-month highs as traders awaited a glut of economic data and
The dollar fell slightly 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 of U.S. nonfarm payrolls
growth for July.
"This is the calm before the storm," said Marc Chandler,
global head of currency strategy at Brown Brothers Harriman in
New York. He said there were "no incentives" to sell the euro or
buy the dollar before this week's top economic data.
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 (NAR) 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 pending home sales data adds fuel to the possibility of
weaker-than-expected second quarter U.S. GDP growth," said
Douglas Borthwick, managing director at Chapdelaine Foreign
Exchange in New York. He said the data underpinned the dollar's
slight weakness against major currencies on Monday.
The euro last traded 0.05 percent higher against
the dollar at $1.3436, modestly above an eight-month low of
$1.34210 touched on Friday. The dollar was last down 0.08
percent against the Japanese yen at 101.775, and was
down 0.07 percent against the Swiss franc at 0.90395
The U.S. dollar index, which measures the dollar
against a basket of six major currencies, was last down 0.04
percent at 80.996. U.S. government bond yields stabilized after
dropping on Friday, with the benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury
note flat in price to yield 2.47 percent.
(Reporting by Sam Forgione; Editing by Nick Zieminski)