The greenback rose against a basket of six currencies on Tuesday as concerns about the global banking sector ahead of the U.S. corporate season prompted investors to abandon risky assets and boosted the U.S. dollar’s allure as a safe haven. In late New York trading, the ICE futures U.S. dollar index added 0.57 percent to 85.228, after rising to as high as 85.500.
Meanwhile, the Japanese yen also rebounded broadly as investors unwind trades in higher-yielding currencies on the back of declining global equities markets. Against the yen, currencies such as euro, Australian dollars, sterling and New Zealand dollars, all fell to session lows of 132.23, 70.61, 145.86 and 57.38 before stabilising respectively.
Earlier in the day, the European Union’s statistics office in Luxembourg reported that gross domestic product in the euro region fell 1.6 percent from the previous three months, the most in at least 13 years. The data showed that eurozone’s recession had deepened and the single currency tumbled to as low as 1.3227 and 0.8989 versus the dollar and sterling respectively.
The British pound also dropped to a session low of 1.4583 against the dollar in earlier trading, however, renewed buying in sterling especially versus the euro lifted price from there and cable surged to as high as 1.4777 in New York morning, last trading at 1.4725.
On Tuesday, the Bank of Japan kept its key rate at 0.10 percent as widely expected while Australia’s central bank cut its benchmark interest rate to a 49-year low by 25 basis points to 0.30 percent after policy makers signaled the economy faces its first recession since 1991. Other economic reports from Britain showed the U.K. manufacturing in February dropped 13.8 percent on year over year basis and was the most in at least four decades.
Economic data releases on Wednesday include U.K Nationwide consumer confidence, Japan trade balance, current account, BOJ report and economic watch DI, German trade balance, current account and factory orders, Canada housing starts, and U.S. wholesale inventories and FOMC March meeting minutes.