The dollar was generally weaker versus other major currencies on Tuesday, coming under pressure against the yen and loonie following the release of disappointing economic data.
The dollar fell more than one percent versus the yen, slipping below the century mark for the first time in days. The dollar dropped to 98.80 yen, falling further from a multi-month high of 101.43, set a week ago.
Against the sterling, the dollar remained on the defensive but managed to stave off a new multi-week low. The buck dipped to 1.4910, testing a 2-month low of 1.4958, set last week.
The dollar slipped to its lowest since late January versus the resurgent loonie on Tuesday, easing to 1.2061. The resource-linked loonie has gotten a boost of late from higher metal prices.
At the same time, the dollar held its ground against the euro amid deepening concerns about the euro area's capacity to snap back from the global recession. The European Central Bank continues to drag its feet on lowering interest rates to near zero, unlike policymakers in the US, Japan, and UK.
On the economic front, US Wholesale prices unexpected showed a notable decrease in March, a government report showed Tuesday, pulled down by a sharp drop in energy prices.
The U.S. Labor Department said producer prices dropped 1.2 percent in March following a 0.1 percent increase in the previous month. Economists had expected no change in producer prices for the month.
Retail sales unexpectedly showed a significant decrease in the month of March, according to a report released by the Commerce Department on Tuesday, although the report also showed an upward revision to February sales.
The report showed that retail sales fell 1.1 percent in March following a revised 0.3 percent increase in February. Economists had expected sales to increase by 0.3 percent compared to the 0.1 percent decrease originally reported for the previous month.
Also, the Commerce Department released its report on business inventories and sales in the month of February. While business inventories fell a little more than economists had expected, business sales showed a modest increase.
The report showed that business inventories fell by 1.3 percent in February, matching the revised decrease seen in the previous month. Economists had expected inventories to fall by 1.2 percent compared to the 1.1 percent decrease originally reported for January.
Meanwhile, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said Tuesday that there have been tentative signs of a slowing in the steep economic decline, offering hope that the worst of the recession may be drawing to a close. Speaking in Atlanta to the Morehouse College, Bernanke also addressed the Fed's continued commitment to prices stability, although he noted that inflation is likely to remain exceptionally low for some time.
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