Asian session: The dollar and yen rose
The dollar and yen rose against their major counterparts as concern that tensions in the Middle East and North Africa will worsen boosted demand for the currencies as a refuge.
The Swiss franc climbed to a three-week high versus the euro after the Libyan government attacked protesters and rebels claimed control of the second-biggest city, Benghazi.
New Zealand’s dollar dropped by the most in seven months against the greenback following a 6.3 magnitude earthquake that struck the city of Christchurch.
The dollar strengthened after Libya erupted into violence yesterday when Muammar Qaddafi’s son Saif al-Islam Qaddafi threatened “rivers of blood” and deployed security forces on protesters. U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said in a statement that “the world is watching the situation in Libya with alarm.”
Japan’s currency pared gains after Moody’s Investors Service said in a statement today that it changed its outlook on the Japanese government’s credit rating to negative from stable.
EUR/USD: the pair decreased below a mark $1.3600.
GBP/USD: the pair decreased below a mark $1.6200.
USD/JPY: the pair bargained within the limits of Y82.90-Y83.50.
US data starts at 1400GMT with the latest S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Index. This is followed at 1430GMT by the weekly MNI Capital Goods Index, which was delayed from the usual Monday release by the Presidents Day holiday. US data continues at 1500GMT with the February Richmond Fed Manufacturing Index as well as consumer confidence, which is expected to
fall to a reading of 65.0 in February after jumping in January. The Michigan Sentiment index rose in the month, based on the preliminary estimate.