RTTNews - The dollar continued to firm up versus other major currencies Wednesday morning as risk averse traders looked for a safe haven as global equities slumped.

US stock futures are pointing to a negative open on Wall Street, fueling speculation that the recent run to multi-month highs may have been overdone. During the stock rally, higher-yielding currencies like the euro and loonie spiked upwards, but have leveled off over the past two days.

A few key economic reports are likely to keep traders occupied in Wednesday's session. The Commerce Department is set to release its durable goods orders report for June at 8:30 AM ET. Economists look forward to a 0.5% decline in durable goods orders for June.

The buck touched an 11-day high versus the euro this morning, taking back another portion of this month's losses. Earlier in the week, the dollar hit a 7-week low of 1.4303, testing its 2009 low of 1.4338.

Wednesday, the latest quarterly Bank Lending Survey from the European Central Bank showed that Eurozone banks tightened their credit standards in the second quarter.

The dollar rose versus the sterling, reaching a weekly high of 1.6370. Still, on a longer term basis, the pair has been stuck in the mud, and is little changed over the past two months.

The dollar continued to stabilize versus the loonie, holding near C$1.0865 after slipping to a 10-month low of C$1.0749 earlier in the week. On the whole, July has been a brutal month for the buck against the loonie, which has risen broadly amid mounting evidence that the Canadian economy is in recovery.

Versus the yen, the dollar reversed yesterday's losses, rising back to 95 from an overnight level near 94. With the advance, the dollar stayed away from a 5-month low of 91.74, set 2 weeks ago.

Retail sales in Japan fell in June for the tenth consecutive month, mainly reflecting a decline in sales of merchandise goods and clothing, an official report showed Wednesday.

Data released by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry showed that retail sales dropped 3% year-on-year in June, faster than a 2.7% drop in the preceding month.

The Energy Information Administration is scheduled to release its weekly petroleum inventory report at 10:30 AM ET.

Later, the Federal Reserve is due to release its Beige Book, which is a compilation of anecdotal evidence on economic conditions from each of the 12 Federal Reserve districts, at 2 PM ET.

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