The single currency remained under pressure throughout Tuesday on concerns about Greek debt problems and fears of possible contagion to other vulnerable eurozone countries. Although Greece would receive 110 billion euros in emergency loan from EU and IMF, investors still worried about the fiscal health of other euro zone countries (especially Spain and Portugal) together with Greece's ability to enact promised spending cuts. The single currency tumbled to a fresh one-year low of 1.2980 on active cross selling in euro. Euro fell below key support at 0.8603 to 0.8567 and from 125.46 to 122.63 against the sterling and Japanese yen respectively.
Versus the Japanese yen, dollar initially rose above last month's high of 94.78 to a near 9-month top at 94.99 as overnight 143-point rally in the Dow boosted investors' risk appetite. However, the pair retreated from there and traded with a soft bias on renewed risk aversion due to the selloff in U.S. stocks on Tuesday and worries on Greece. Usd/jpy retreated to 94.33 before staging a strong rebound in U.S. session while DJI ended the day down 225.06 points at 10926.77.
The British pound also fell in tandem with euro on renewed risk together with worries that this week’s election would leave U.K. with a government too weak to rein in its record budget deficit. Cable moved narrowly in Asia but later fell sharply to 1.5090 before rebounding in US session.
The Australian dollar fell broadly after the central bank increased the interest rate for the sixth time in seven meetings to 4.5% from 4.25% and stated that borrowing costs were around “average,” suggesting the pace of rate hike might be slower in the future. Aud/usd then extended weakness on renewed risk aversion due to worries on Greece and tumbled to an intra-day low of 0.9080 in US session.
On economic front, orders for U.S. manufactured goods rose unexpectedly to 1.3% (versus forecast of 0.1% decline) after an upwardly revised 1.3% gain in February, initially reported as a 0.6% rise. Pending home sales index rose by 5.3%, more than expected, to a five-month high of 102.9 in March against the expectation of 4% increase. Eurozone producer price rose by 0.6% m/m and 0.9% y/y respectively versus the economists' forecast of 0.7% m/m and 0.9% y/y. U.K. CIPS manufacturing PMI came in at 58.0 in April, higher than economists' forecast of 57.4 and the upwardly revised reading of 57.3 in March.