The EUR and other major currencies continued to gain ground against the USD in London trading as global stock markets built on last week's rebound and news that the G20 would increase its funding to the IMF, which in turn would support beleaguered Eastern European economies. The USD continued to lose ground as its safe haven appeal softened against the better market backdrop. European stock markets were up around 2.5% and futures pointed to a 1% gain at the open for US shares. JPY-crosses surged higher as risk appetites improve, which also saw gold retreat about $5 to $925/oz. Oil prices also dropped sharply after OPEC declined to cut output in light of the global downturn.

EUR/USD popped over 1.2950 highs from last week and traded as high as 1.3060/65 by the NY opening. GBP/USD broke above 1.4050 and was trading just below intra-day highs near 1.4225/30, leading the way as a key UK banking group indicated it would seek to raise private capital to avoid falling under greater government control.

Upcoming data releases

* 3/16/2009 12:30 CA Capacity Utilization Rate 4Q 77.40% - -

* 3/16/2009 12:30 US Empire Manufacturing MAR -34.65 -33

* 3/16/2009 13:00 US Net Long-term TIC Flows JAN $34.8B - -

* 3/16/2009 13:00 US Total Net TIC Flows JAN $74.0B - -

* 3/16/2009 13:15 US Industrial Production FEB -1.80% -1.30%

* 3/16/2009 13:15 US Capacity Utilization FEB 72.00% 71.00%

* 3/16/2009 EC ECB's Trichet Speaks on European Integration, in Frankfurt 16-Mar

* 3/16/2009 17:00 US NAHB Housing Market Index MAR 9 9