The U.S. dollar strengthened against the euro as traders continue to bet that the European Central Bank will cut interest rates at their meeting this week, a move that would likely lead to decreased demand for euro-denominated assets. The euro was also hurt by news that the German government plans to implement a large stimulus plan to bolster its flagging economy. This confirmation of German economic woes is particularly detrimental to the euro as Germany is the euro zone's largest single economy. The dollar's gains against the euro were furthered by suggestions that Spain may have its credit ratings lowered in the short term.
The dollar also gained ground against the British pound after U.K. economic data released showed home and retail sales at multi-year lows. The surge of weak economic data released in the U.K. recently has led many to expect that that the Bank of England will lower rates beyond their current historic lows.
The Japanese yen benefited from a slide in U.S. equities that, once again, made the currency a safe haven for risk-averse investors.
However, investors now expect that continued economic uncertainty, coupled with low interest rates in Japan will cause the yen to fall as investors borrow money in Japan to invest in higher-yielding economies.
Economic data out today includes the U.S. Trade Balance and ABC Consumer Confidence numbers.