Asian session: The Swiss franc climbed to a record
The Swiss franc climbed to a record and the yen strengthened to a two-week high as continuing violence in Libya drove energy prices higher and stocks lower, spurring demand for safe-haven currencies.
The two currencies gained against all major counterparts as loyalists of Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi sought to crush dissent in Tripoli.
The euro rose toward the strongest in three weeks against the dollar on speculation the European Central Bank will increase interest rates before the Federal Reserve.
Crude oil futures advanced to the highest in more than two years yesterday. The Nikkei 225 Stock Average slipped 1.2 percent today. U.S. benchmark indexes completed the biggest two- day drop in six months yesterday.
The euro gained for a second day versus the dollar as economists said a report tomorrow will show German EU-harmonized consumer prices gained 0.5 percent in February after falling 0.5 percent in January.
ECB policy makers will take the decisions necessary to maintain price stability, President Jean-Claude Trichet told reporters yesterday in Frankfurt. The central bank will hold a policy meeting on March 3.
EUR/USD: the pair shown high in the field of $1.3780 then decreased.
GBP/USD: the pair shown high in the field of $1.6250 then decreased.
USD/JPY: the pair decreased in around Y82.00.
EMU data is due at 1000GMT with the business climate indicator expected to rise to 1.65 for February and the economic sentiment survey also expected to rise, to a reading of 107.0.
UK data sees just the 1100GMT release of both quarterly and monthly CBI Distributive Trades & Sales Balance data.
US data starts at 1330GMT, when initial jobless claims are expected to fall 5,000 to 405,000 in the February 19 week after rising in the previous week. At the same time, durable goods orders are expected to surge 3.0% in January after the 2.3% drop in December. Boeing reported 34 new orders in January, down from 55 in December, but nondefense aircraft orders are still expected to rebound from the 99.5% drop in the December data. At 1500GMT by the FHFA Home Price Index and also New Home Sales data is due, where the pace of new home sales is expected to slow to a 305,000 annual rate in January after the December spike. While home sales have improved in recent months, the data still point to significant weakness compared to a year earlier.
The weekly EIA Crude Oil Stocks data is due at 1600GMT.