Asian session: The yen, dollar and Swiss franc rose
The yen, dollar and Swiss franc rose against most of their major peers amid renewed demand for refuge assets after earthquakes shook buildings in Tokyo, a month after a record temblor triggered a nuclear crisis.
Australia’s dollar fell the most in four weeks against the yen as Asian stocks extended a worldwide retreat, damping demand for higher-yielding assets.
The earthquake that struck Chiba, the prefecture east of Tokyo, and shook buildings in the capital this morning had a magnitude of 6.2 according to the U.S. Geological Survey. Another earthquake with a magnitude of 6.3 struck Fukushima prefecture in the afternoon, according to the Japan Meteorological Agency.
Japan’s Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency raised the level of the Fukushima crisis to 7, the highest in the standard global scale, an official said today in a televised briefing.
The yen soared to a postwar record against the dollar in the week after a magnitude-9 quake and tsunami hit northeastern Japan on March 11, amid speculation domestic insurance companies would sell overseas assets to pay for reconstruction.
The greenback gained for a second day versus the euro as the Nikkei 225 (NKY) Stock Average slid 1.7 percent, pacing a 1.4 percent drop in the MSCI Asia Pacific Index. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index declined for a third day yesterday.
EUR/USD: the pair bargained within the limits of $1.4375-$ 1.4440.
GBP/USD: the pair shown low below a mark $1.6300.
USD/JPY: the pair shown low in the field of Y83.40 then returned back above mark Y84.00.The main EMU release for Tuesday is the 0900GMT release of German ZEW data for April, which is expected to see the current situation data edge to 85.0 from 85.4 and the economic sentiment index slip to 11.6 from 14.1 in March.
UK data at 0830GMT includes inflation and trade data as well as the latest DCLG House Prices. The house price data is expected to show a marginal 0.1% increase y/y. Inflation data will be clearly watched and CPI is forecast to rise 0.6% m/m, remaining at 4.4% y/y with core-CPI edging lower to 3.3% y/y. The RPI measures are expected to come in at 0.6% m/m, 5.5% y/y with RPIX also remaining at 5.5% y/y. In its February Inflation Report the Bank of England forecast CPI would average 4.08% in Q1. If analysts median forecast for the March release is right, with CPI up 4.4% on the year, then CPI will average 4.3% in Q1.
US data: the weekly Redbook Average is due at 1255GMT, while at 1400GMT, the latest IBD/TIPP Economic Optimism Index is released. Later, at 1800GMT, the US Treasury is expected to post a $189.0 billion
budget gap in March, much larger than the $65.4 billion gap in March 2010 due to a significant drop off in personal tax receipts.