The dollar was mixed versus other major currencies Monday morning in New York as traders braced for details on the Obama administration's plan remove toxic assets from the banks' balance sheets.
The buck remained on the defensive versus the euro and sterling, but advanced against the yen after Japan's Finance Minister said that a massive government stimulus package would be necessary to prevent the current fiscal quarter from repeating the 12.1% economic contraction seen in the fourth quarter of 2008.
The Obama administration is planning to seek the help of private investors as it attempts to rid banks of possibly as much as $1 trillion in bad assets, according to reports based on a piece in the Wall Street Journal. Under the plan, the Treasury will subsidize the private investors' purchase of troubled assets. Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner is expected to unveil details of the plan at 8:45 a.m. ET.
The National Association of Realtors is scheduled to release its report on existing home sales for February at 10 AM ET on Monday. Economists estimate existing home sales of 4.45 million for the month.
The dollar continued its dramatic turn to the downside versus the resurgent sterling, slipping to a 2-month low of 1.4648. A move to 1.4661 would take the dollar to its lowest level since early February. With today's losses, the dollar dropped further from January's 23-year high of 1.3501.
Increased risk appetite kept the dollar from paring last week's massive losses against the euro Monday morning. Approaching mid-morning, the dollar was little changed from last week's 10-week low of 1.3737.
On the flip side, the dollar advanced versus the yen, rising to 96.80. Sentiment among leaders of large Japanese companies worsened in the first three months of 2009 compared to the final three months of 2008.
Japan's Finance Ministry and Cabinet Office said Monday that the large company business sentiment index registered minus-51.3 in the first quarter of 2009, compared to the minus-35.7 reading in the fourth quarter.
For comments and feedback: contact firstname.lastname@example.org