The single currency rose briefly to 1.5897 against the dollar, just below the record high of 1.5905, after a European Union report showed consumer prices accelerated by 3.5% in March, the fastest pace in almost 16 years.
ECB council member and Bank of Finland governor Erkki Liikanen said that while the European growth outlook has become ‘more subdued’, inflation has accelerated. The hawkish comments also supported the single currency, however, investors booked profits in U.S. session after failing to trigger the stops at 1.5900 and 1.5910 together with the selloff in commodities. Crude oil prices tumbled by more than $3.97 to close at 101.65. Gold and silver also fell sharply from 941.30 to 914.90 and from 18.20 to 17.08 respectively.
The greenback rose against the Japanese yen from 98.80 to 100.20as fiscal year-end activity from Japanese investors and corporates kept the Japan’s currency under pressure. The British pound fell from 1.9980 to 1.9813 and weakened to an all-time low of 0.7982 per euro as U.K. housing prices dropped in March for a sixth month. A research company Hometrack Ltd. said the average price of a home in England and Wales declined 0.2% this month.
Higher-yielding currencies such as the Australian dollar and New Zealand dollar also weakened versus the U.S. currency from 0.9183 to 0.9103 and from 0.7960 to 0.7846 respectively. The greenback rose against the Canadian dollar from 1.0191 to 1.0293.
U.S. Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson said a sweeping revamp of the U. S. financial regulatory landscape was not intended as a response to current market turmoil and should not be implemented until the difficulties are resolved.
Tuesday will see the release of Japan’s tankan report, German retail sales, unemployment rate, PMI manufacturing, eurozone and U.K. PMI manufacturing respectively, U.S. ISM manufacturing and construction spending.