The dollar edged up higher against the major currencies in a largely listless trading session, holding steady around 1.1940 versus the euro and near 1.4480 against the British pound. The US equity indexes dipped into negative territory in afternoon trading, marginally extending Friday's sharp sell-off - with the Nasdaq slumping by over 2% and the Dow Jones lower by more than 1.0%. Crude oil traded slightly lower, holding steady near $71.45 per barrel while spot gold improved by almost 2%, climbing to $1,243 per ounce.
The disappointing US jobs data and heightened uncertainty stemming from the Eurozone debt crisis continues to weigh on markets prompting renewed bouts of risk-aversion, resulting in the major indexes to grind lower while the greenback benefited from safe-haven flows. Tokyo's Nikkei index sold-off sharply, plunging by 3.84% while the Shanghai composite index shed more than 1.6% to bring the year-to-date loss to 23.4%. Lingering questions over the sustainability of the global economic recovery and fears for a double dip recession will continue to drag on investor sentiment.
The US economic calendar is quiet for this week, consisting of April wholesale inventories, the Fed's Beige Book, the April trade deficit, weekly jobless claims, May retail sales and the University of Michigan consumer confidence survey. Also scheduled this week will be Fed Chairman Bernanke's testimony on the economy before the House Budget Committee on Wednesday. With the softer than expected US reports, particularly Friday's weaker than forecast jobs figures, the FOMC is likely to leave policy unchanged for the remainder of the year, quelling speculation for any hike in rates over the coming months.
Both the ECB and BoE will meet to deliberate policy this week, with no change expected from the central banks. Given the deterioration in Eurozone economic fundamentals and persistent sovereign-debt fears, the ECB can be expected to remain accommodative. Meanwhile, the BoE decision will be more interesting due to recent inflationary pressure on the UK economy. The decisions for both the ECB and BoE are due out on Thursday while traders will be closely scrutinizing the accompanying statements.
The euro's woes extended, dipping to a fresh 4-year low below the 1.19-figure, with support to emerge around 1.1860, followed by 1.1830 and 1.18. Subsequent floors are seen at 1.1750 and 1.17. On the topside, resistance begins at 1.20, followed by 1.2040 and 1.2060. Additional ceilings are eyed at 1.21, backed by 1.2130 and 1.2170.