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NEW YORK, April 24 AFP

April 25 2013, 08:50AM

The US dollar has dipped slightly against most other major currencies after a government report showed a plunge in US durable goods orders in March.

The euro edged up to $US1.3013 around 0800 AEST, from $US1.2997 at the same time on Tuesday, benefiting from a poor German confidence survey that had traders betting on further easing by the European Central Bank.

The US dollar gained a little ground against the Japanese currency, rising to Y99.51 from Y99.48 late on Tuesday, while the euro bought Y129.50, up from Y129.30.

"It was a fairly quiet trading session, but there was a slight weakness in the US dollar, which fell not only against the euro, but also against the Canadian dollar, the Australian dollar and the pound," said Charles St-Arnaud of Nomura.

US durable goods orders plunged 5.7 per cent from February, the Commerce Department reported, the latest March data showing weakness in the world's largest economy.

"The numbers on durable-goods orders were very weak this morning. Even though the decline came mainly from plunges in orders for civilian aircraft and the military, they cast a bit of a cloud over the outlook for the American economy," he said.

Across the Atlantic, German business confidence took a bigger-than-expected tumble this month. The Ifo economic institute's closely watched business climate index fell to 104.4 points in April from 106.7 points in March.

Gekko Markets trader Anita Paluch said that "bad numbers may be conducive enough for ECB (European Central Bank) to take some action and provide more liquidity in the light of those economic headwinds."

The ECB is set to hold a monetary policy meeting on May 2.

Meanwhile, investors were looking ahead to the Bank of Japan (BoJ) policy meeting on Friday, the first since the central bank's massive easing measures.

"Don't expect a big (US dollar-yen) sell-off however, as the BoJ rate decision, comments for central bank governor (Haruhiko) Kuroda and the release of their semi-annual outlook report on Friday poses upside risk" for the US dollar against the yen, said Kathy Lien of BK Asset Management.

The pound fetched $US1.5267, up from $US1.5238 late on Tuesday.

The US dollar gained against the Swiss currency, to 0.9472 francs, compared with 0.9451 a day earlier.