The US dollar rose vs. most major currencies as news from Asia cast doubt on the global economic recovery. In Asia, Japanese exports fell and the Chinese news agency Xinhua News reported that China is studying curbs on industrial overcapacity. Separately, positive economic news and a rise in US equities also helped the dollar as the correlation between risk and the dollar has weakened. Durable goods orders jumped in July rising more than 4.9%, which beat forecasts of 3.0%. New home sales rose 9.6% in July, beating forecasts of 1.6%. MBA mortgage applications were up 7.5% from the previous week.
The euro declined against the dollar on concerns about the global economic recovery, even amidst positive economic data. German business confidence rose more than expected as the Ifo institute in Munich said its business climate index increased to 90.5 in August from 87.4. The measure also beat expectations of a rise to 89.0. Ifo's measure of expectations rose to 95.0 from 90.4, while an assessment of current conditions rose to 86.1 from 84.4.
The British pound fell sharply against the dollar as traders bet that the UK's economic recovery will lag behind that of the 16-nation Eurozone. Investors fled into the dollar and yen as they became more risk averse due to concerns about the global economic recovery.
The Japanese yen declined against the dollar as a fall in exports hurt the export-dependent country. Exports fell 36.5% in July, worse than the 35.7% fall in June. Meanwhile imports fell 40.8%, slightly higher than a 41.9% decline in June.
The Canadian dollar weakened for the second day in a row as commodity prices fell. Crude oil prices fell as much as 1.9% to $70.67 a barrel, which hurt the loonie as it is Canada's key export. The Australian and New Zealand dollar fell against the dollar as Xinhua News reported that China is studying curbs on industrial overcapacity in industries including steel and cement. Australia is a major exporter of steel to China.
The Australian skilled job vacancies index rose 1% in August, which was better than a revised decline of 0.8% the previous month. The Australian measure for construction work done fell 0.1% in the second quarter, beating forecasts of a 3.0% decline. Indicative rates: