Asian session: The euro gained
The euro gained for the first time in three days versus the dollar on speculation rising fuel costs will put further pressure on European Central Bank policy makers to combat inflation with higher interest rates.
The euro advanced as intensifying violence in Libya caused oil prices to surge to a two-year high yesterday.
The New Zealand dollar rose from a two-month low on prospects the 6.3 magnitude earthquake caused markets to overprice the probability of an interest-rate cut by the nation’s central bank.
The New Zealand dollar strengthened earlier after Moody’s Investors Service said it sees no immediate impact from the Christchurch earthquake on the nation’s Aaa credit rating.
The yen trimmed losses versus most major peers on speculation Japanese exporters took advantage of the currency’s recent weakness to buy.
EUR/USD: the pair become stronger above a mark $1.3700.
GBP/USD: the pair shown high in the field of $1.6230.
USD/JPY: the pair bargained within the limits of Y82.55-Y82.90.
The main focus for the morning will be on the minutes of the latest Bank of England meeting, which are released at 0930GMT and many expect will show increasing support for a rate hike. There has been no shortage of evidence that the MPC is deeply divided and the debate at the February meeting was likely vociferous. The vote will reveal if there were any further recruits to January's two person rate hike camp.
EMU industrial orders data follows, at 1000GMT.
US data starts at 1200GMT with the weekly MBA Mortgage Application Index, which is followed at 1245GMT by the weekly ICSC-Goldman Store Sales data and at 1355GMT by the weekly Redbook Average. US data continues at 1500GMT, when the pace of existing home sales is forecast to slow to 5.25 million in January following the 12.3% surge in December.