The dollar was generally stronger Monday morning in New York, extending last week's big gains against the euro as traders braced for a busy week of economic and corporate earnings news.

After six consecutive weekly gains, stocks futures pulled back Monday morning on Wall Street and European shares came under heavy pressure, fueling renewed risk aversion.

Fed-speak and a leading index report from the US highlights Monday's economic calendar. Chicago Federal Reserve President Charles Evans, a FOMC voting member, is scheduled to speak at 9 AM ET on Monday. Atlanta Federal Reserve President Dennis Lockhart, also an FOMC voting member, is due to speak at 12:40 PM ET.

The Conference Board is scheduled to release a report on the U.S. leading index for March at 10 AM ET on Monday. The consensus estimate calls for a 0.2% decline in the leading indicators index for the month.

The dollar continued to drift higher against the slumping euro, rising to a 5-week high of 1.2965. The buck has risen 4 cents in the past week, moving back toward last autumn's multi-year high of 1.2328.

The European Central Bank is considering additional monetary easing measures to support the economy and Europe will see a gradual recovery in 2010 after experiencing exceptionally challenging situations in the current year, ECB President Jean-Claude Trichet told the business daily Nikkei in an interview published on Monday.

Repeating his remarks made on the latest Governing Council meeting, Trichet told the Nikkei that the next rate cut would be very measured. On April 2, when the ECB lowered its key interest rate to a record low of 1.25%, the central bank chief had hinted at further easing in the bank's main interest rate. At the same time, he told Nikkei that the rate-setting body has several good reasons to avoid lowering interest rates to zero.

Monday, the European Central Bank said the current account of the Euro area showed a deficit of EUR 93.6 billion in 2008, around 1% of GDP. In 2007, the current account balance had registered a surplus of EUR 11.1 billion.

The dollar rose sharply against the sterling Monday morning, hitting a nearly 3-week high of 1.4536. With the advance, the dollar further improved from last week's 3-month low of 1.5068.

Indicating that confidence in the UK housing market is recovering gradually, house prices rose for the third straight month in April and marked the biggest increase in 14 months.

Sellers raised average asking prices by 1.8% month-on-month or GBP 3,996 to GBP 222,077 in April following the 0.9% increase in March, the country's largest property website Rightmove said Monday.

The dollar remained in a holding pattern versus the yen Monday morning, staying just below the century mark in very choppy trading. The dollar hit a 3-month high of 101.43 earlier this month, but has since leveled off.

Monday, the Bank of Japan Governor Masaaki Shirakawa restated that Japan's economic and financial conditions are weakening significantly.

Speaking at an annual meeting of Japanese trust banks in Tokyo, Shirakawa said, The Japanese economy is deteriorating significantly.

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