The Japanese yen rose against major currencies on Wednesday after gold plunged by $59.20 to $938.00, the most ever to, and oil price fell more than $6 to close at 103.25 per a barrel. Commodities sank on speculation the Federal Reserve will ease the pace of interest-rate cuts, after the central bank on March 18 signaled renewed concern on inflation.
U.S. stocks slumped, led by shares of commodity producers. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index sank 2.4% on Wednesday after the 4.2% rally in the previous day. The Dow Jones industrial average slid 293 points or 2.36% to 12100. The Nasdaq Composite Index slumped 58.30 points or 2.57% to 2209.96.
The British pound tumbled from 2.0152 to 1.9802 after minutes of the Bank of England rate-setting meeting showed two policy makers (John Gieve and David Blanchflower) voted to cut borrowing costs. Central bank policy makers voted 7-2 to keep the benchmark rate at 5.25% on March 6.
The greenback rose strongly against the Canadian dollar from 0.9876 to 1.0175, the biggest one-day gain in this year. The single currency rebounded initially in European session from Australian low at 1.5613 to 1.5786 before falling again to a low of 1.5583 in U.S. session on active cross selling in euro especially versus the Japanese yen. U.S. currency retreated from 1.0058 to 0.9869 and then rebounded to 1.0030.
Thursday will see the release of German PPI, PMI manufacturing and service, eurozone PMI manufacturing and service, U.K. retail sales, PSNCR, U.S. jobless claims, Philadelphia Fed survey and leading indicators.