Market sentiment became more bullish after positive U.S. home sales data which showed existing home sales rose in April and distressed activity tapered off as the slow housing market recovery firmed up.
The dollar moved back up against the yen and risk currencies like euro and aussie rose after a report by the National Association of Realtors said Tuesday that U.S. sales of existing homes rose in April to a seasonally adjusted annualized rate of 4.62 million in April, from a downwardly revised 4.47 million in March. Forecasts were for an expected rate of 4.60 million in April.
Compared to April 2011, sales rose 10 percent, the tenth straight month of year-on-year gains.
Meanwhile, average home prices increased by 10.1 percent to $177,400 on a year-on-year basis, the biggest percentage rise since January 2006.
First-time buyers represented 35 percent of all transactions, up from 33 percent in March.
A slowly improving jobs market, record-low mortgage rates and slightly better lending conditions have all contributed to the improving activity.