With the Middle East wave of protests spreading its wings with Oman being the latest casualty, the Franc and Yen continue to remain strong against majority of currencies on speculations these issues could derail global economic recovery. EURCHF fell for a third day to trade at a low of 1.2727, EURJPY traded at low of 111.97, EURUSD traded at a low of 1.3712 on concerns that a new Irish government will seek to share the bailout burden with senior bank bondholders and re-negotiate the bailout plan with the EU & IMF, USDJPY reached a three-week low of 81.62 on prospects that Fed Chairman Bernanke will signal interest rates will remain near-zero, USDCHF traded at 0.9267 after reaching lows of 92.28, weakest since 1971, GBPUSD traded at a high of 1.6142, AUDUSD pared losses, trading at 1.0173 after weakening earlier on speculations that the exports will slowdown after China cut its economic-growth forecasts, NZDUSD advanced for a third day to 0.7537 as Asian stocks revived demand for the currency although weakness could creep in as investors expect the RBNZ to cut rates amid earthquake rebuilding costs.
Reports of oil shipments resumptions from Libya lead to fluctuations in Asian markets with MSCI Asia Pacific index rising 0.5%, Nikkei rose 0.92%, Topix rose 1%, Hang Seng rose 1.4% and Shanghai Composite rose 0.92%. Japan's industrial production rose less than expected at 2.4% (exp. 3.3%) in a temporary slowdown caused by declining output of electronics, retail sales rose 0.1% (exp. -1.5%) and production looks towards being robust in H1 2011 as outlook figures point towards expansions.
The US and other officials will meet today in Geneva to discuss Libya which could figure measures to bring escalating tensions in control as protests spread to Oman, which could hamper oil production. Rising oil prices have brought inflation back into picture with central banks from ECB, BOE and SNB talking of rate increases as a measure to control inflation, boosting respective currencies and weakening the Dollar. New Zealand posted its first trade surplus in seven months of $8 million as record-high commodity prices buoyed exports of milk-powder and lumber while imports fell to an 11-month low.
Today's calendar would see EU inflation figures, Canadian GDP forecast, US personal spending, personal income, pending home sales, Chicago PMI, and Fed's members Dudley and Rosengren speak today.