The greenback strengthened against most of other currencies on Wednesday as investors continued to buy the safe-haven U.S. dollar due to persistent worries about the economy. In late New York afternoon session, the ICE futures dollar index eased from intra-day high of 85.343 and last trading up 0.11 percent to 84.888, whist the dollar rose to session highs of 99.68 and 1.1488 versus the yen and swiss franc in earlier session before profit-taking occured respectively.
The euro came under pressure after ECB Governing Council member Axel Weber said the central bank will announce a package of ‘non-standard measures’ to boost the eurozone economy in May. The single currency fell to as low as 1.3146, 0.8787 and 129.91 against the dollar, sterling and yen before stabilising respectively.
Meanwhile, the British pound rallied above 1.5000 against the dollar and touched a multi-month high of 1.5038 as Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors showed that the slump in U.K. house prices eased last month after more than a year of declines lured buyers back into the market. The number of real-estate agents and surveyors saying prices fell 73.1 percentage in March, compared with 78.1 in February (the highest balance in 13 months).
On the data front, German wholesale prices dropped the most in more than 22 years in March after energy costs and prices for agricultural goods plunged, fell 8 percent from a year earlier after a 5.7 percent decline in February. Other reports from U.S. showed that manufacturing in the New York region contracted this month the least since September, posted a minus 14.7 compared with minus 38.23 in March while industrial production in the U.S. fell 1.5 percent in March, the 14th time in the last 15 months as factories trimmed unwanted stockpiles.
Economic data releases on Thursday include U.K. BRC retail sales, Japan machine tools orders, Switzerland’s PPI data, eurozone HICP final, industrial orders, and U.S. building permits, housing starts, weekly jobless claims and Philadelphia Fed survey.