The U.S. dollar was trading in a narrow range against most of the other major currencies on Tuesday, as investors remained cautious ahead of the start of voting in the U.S. presidential elections, with opinion polls pointing to a tight race between incumbent President Barack Obama and Republican contender Mitt Romney.
The single currency remained under pressure ahead of Wednesday’s parliamentary vote in Greece on new austerity measures needed for Athens to secure its next instalment of international aid.
In the U.K., official data showed that manufacturing production inched up by 0.1% in September, missing expectations for a 0.3% increase, while industrial production declined 1.7%, compared to expectations for a 0.6% drop. Furthermore, hopes the economy is on the road to recovery have been dampened by figures showing retail sales stalled last month and growth in Britain's services sector almost ground to a standstill.
The weak data reinforced concerns that the U.K. economic recovery will falter towards the end of the year, after data last month showed that the economy exited a recession in the third quarter.
Earlier Tuesday, German factory orders fell the most in a year in September as Europe’s sovereign debt crisis and slowing economic growth prompted companies to reduce investment. Orders, adjusted for seasonal swings and inflation, slumped 3.3 percent from August, when they dropped a revised 0.8 percent, the Economy Ministry in Berlin said today. That’s the second straight drop and the biggest since September 2011.