Asian session: The yen strengthened
The yen strengthened against all its major counterparts on concern Europe’s debt crisis is worsening and after Standard & Poor’s changed its credit outlook on the U.S. to negative.
Japan’s currency climbed for a fourth day versus the euro and the dollar before reports that economists said will show manufacturing in the euro area and the Philadelphia region slowed this month. The Australian and New Zealand dollars weakened as losses in commodities and stocks reduced demand for higher-yielding assets.
S&P yesterday put the U.S. government on notice that it risks losing its AAA rating unless policy makers agree on a plan by 2013 to reduce budget deficits and the national debt.
The cost of insuring Greek government debt rose to a record yesterday, with contracts indicating investors see a greater than 60 percent chance the nation will default within five years.
The Australian and New Zealand dollars declined as Asian shares dropped for a third day.
EUR/USD: the pair bargained within the limits of $1.4200-$ 1.4245.
GBP/USD: the pair bargained within the limits of $1.6230-$ 1.6270.
USD/JPY: the pair bargained within the limits of Y82.30-Y82.70.
This morning sees the release of the main European state flash PMIs manufacturing and services PMIs for April, including an early start with France at 0558GMT and then Germany at 0628GMT and the main EMU release at 0658GMT. France data is expected to edge lower to 55.0 and 60.0 for manufacturing and services PMIs respectively with Germany edging down to 60.0 and 59.5, while the EMU releases are also expected to edge down to readings of 57.0 and 56.8. Then, at 0800GMT, ECB current account data is due, followed at 0900GMT by EMU construction output, although this data is for February.