Tuesday morning in Asia, the euro dropped to multi-day lows against its US, Japan and Swiss counterparts as a fall in stock prices prompted investors to sell higher-yielding assets.
The benchmark interest rates are 0.1% in Japan, 0.5% in Switzerland and 0% to 0.25% in US, compared to 1.25% in Europe.
Gloomy economic reports from Europe released yesterday also led to the weakening of the euro.
The Eurostat said retail sales in the 16-nation bloc slipped by a record 4% in February on a yearly basis. Retail sales decreased by a revised 1.7% in January and the consensus forecast was for a 2.5% decline in February. Retail sales volume fell 0.6% in February from the previous month. Economists were expecting retail sales to drop just 0.4% in February after rising 0.1% in January.
Euro zone producer prices showed an annual decline of 1.8% in February versus January's 0.7% drop. This was the largest fall since April 1999. For the annual variation, economists were looking for a 1.5% fall. Industrial producer prices slid 0.5% month-on-month in February, following a 1.1% decline in January. Monthly number matched economists' expectations.
The euro declined against the currencies of US and Japan in early Asian deals on Tuesday. At about 8:00 pm ET, the euro touched a 4-day low of 133.65 against the yen and a 5-day low of 1.3323 against the dollar, compared to yesterday's close of 135.49 and 1.3417, respectively. If the euro falls further, it may likely target 132 against the yen and 1.317 against the dollar.
During early Asian deals on Tuesday, the euro slipped to a 6-day low of 1.5157 against the Swiss franc. On the downside, 1.507 is seen as the next target level for the European currency. The euro-franc pair was worth 1.5243 at Monday's close.
The euro, which closed yesterday's trading at 0.9085 against the pound rose to 0.9109 in early Asian deals on Tuesday. The next upside target level for the euro-pound pair is seen at 0.918.
Traders now await the Bank of Japan's interest rate decision, which is due out shortly. Analysts expect the central bank to keep rates steady at 0.1%.
In the European session, the Italian February hourly wages, UK February industrial and manufacturing production data and the Euro-Zone final fourth quarter GDP report are slated for release.
Across the Atlantic, the U.S. Federal Reserve is expected to release its monthly consumer credit report at 3 pm ET. Consumer credit for February is likely to show a decline of $1.5 billion.
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