The dollar saw choppy dealing versus other major currencies Wednesday morning in New York as equities continued to slump, causing jittery investors to shift between positions in the safer dollar and yen.
Asian stocks slumped overnight and US stock futures were indicating a third straight dour open on Wall Street, providing further evidence that a recent bear market rally may have been too much, too soon.
Alcoa kicked off earnings season on a down note Tuesday, fueling concerns about the impact of the global recession on corporate bottom lines.
On the housing front, mortgage applications filed last week rose a seasonally adjusted 4.7%, the Mortgage Bankers Association said Wednesday.
The Commerce Department's wholesale inventories report for February is due at 10 am ET.
Additionally, the Federal Reserve will release the minutes of the latest policy-setting meeting at 2 pm ET.
The dollar slipped back below the century mark versus the yen Wednesday morning after rising above 100 for the first time since last fall earlier this week. The buck eased to 99.50 approaching mid-morning.
Wednesday, the Bank of Japan maintained its economic assessment by saying that economic conditions have deteriorated significantly in Japan. The BoJ stated, Japan's economic conditions are likely to continue deteriorating for the time being, reiterating its view last month.
The dollar hit a weekly high in early dealing versus the euro Wednesday morning, rising to 1.3150 before reversing course by a penny. Overall, the dollar has held between 1.3000 and 1.3600 for the past two weeks.
Traders reacted to data showing that German exports dropped for the fifth straight month in February.
Wednesday, the Federal Statistical Office reported that calendar and seasonal adjusted exports decreased 0.7% month-on-month in February, subsequent to 7.4% decline in January. Meanwhile, economists had forecast a 3.3% decline.
The dollar held its ground versus the sterling, staying near 1.4700 through Wednesday's early deals. The dollar is little-changed versus the sterling since the start of March, having rebounded from a multi-week low of 1.4950, set last week.
Wednesday, a report by the British Retail Consortium said UK's BRC Nielsen Shop Price annual inflation rate stood at 2% in March, up from 1.9% in February.This was the fourth consecutive month of rising shop price inflation.
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