Negative vibes dominated the financial markets amid downgrade concerns from the debt-throttled euro nations and weaker than estimated retail data from the world's largest economy, driving traders towards less-riskier assets including the U.S dollar and treasuries, while stocks and euro fell and the Japanese Yen.
A mixed stream of macroeconomic data was watched over Tuesday's session, starting this morning with an unexpected move from the second-largest credit rating agency. Moody's Investors Services downgraded six euro area countries, including Italy, Spain and Portugal and said it may also downgrade and top-notch rating of the U.K. and France.
The downgrade news was swept a little with sliver of optimism spread after the European economic confidence improved unexpectedly in February. German economic sentiment improved beyond expectations as well. Spain sold 5.45 billion euros of 364-day and 553-day bonds and yields stood low to even support strained markets.
With the ongoing selloff wave, the Greenback was supported later on the day with further economic data, after American retail sales trailed estimates and European officials signaled Greece is not yet qualified for second bailout. Retail sales in the U.S rose 0.4 percent last month, half the 0.8 percent economists' had in mind.
Tension mounted back in markets after Euro-area finance ministers canceled a meeting scheduled tomorrow and decided to hold a teleconference instead, as Luxembourg Prime Minister Jean-Claude Juncker, chairman of the euro finance panel, said he has yet to receive the political assurances from Greek lawmakers about austerity measures required for the 130 billion-euro financial aid.
The dollar rose against most of its traded counterparts, sending the dollar index, which measures the performance of the dollar against a basket of currencies including the euro, the pound and the yen, up from today's opening level of 79.00 to trade around 79.61, recording a high of 79.63 and a low of 78.63.
Gold prices dropped to an intraday of $1714.35 an ounce from the opening level of $1722.00 an ounce, as most of the commodities fell on the dollar rise. Oil futures slipped as well to trade around $100.83 a barrel from the opening level of $100.69 a barrel.
The 17-nation currency fell against the dollar, leaving the EUR/USD pair to trade around 1.3086 after printing a high of 1.3215 and a low of 1.3078 from the opening level of 1.3186.
The Pound dropped as well against its U.S counterpart, driving the GBP/USD to trade around 1.5656, down from the opening level of 1.5764, recording the highest level of 1.5769 and lowest of 1.5642.
The Japanese yen fell sharply against the dollar, after the bank of Japan said it would increase the size of its asset-purchase fund, driving the USD/JPY up from the opening level of 77.57 to currently trade around 78.42 and kissing a three-month high of 78.94 and low of 77.34.