The dollar fell against most major counterparts in Forex Trading as signs the global recovery is gathering momentum spurred demand for higher-yielding assets.
The Australian dollar climbed to the strongest since the currency was freely floated ahead of data today forecast to show U.S. initial jobless claims fell and Italian business confidence rose to the highest in more than two years.
South Korea’s won gained the most in three weeks after the central bank forecast the nation’s current-account surplus will widen this month.
“Market consensus is the global economy will continue to expand, with the U.S. seeing a recovery and emerging economies continuously growing,” said Takeru Ogihara, chief strategist in Tokyo at Mizuho Trust & Banking Co., a unit of Japan’s second- largest bank. “That’s a factor to buy growth-related currencies” against the dollar, he said.
The dollar declined to $1.3234 per euro at 11:34 a.m. in Tokyo from $1.3225 in New York yesterday. The U.S. currency weakened to 0.9439 Swiss francs from 0.9456 francs, after touching a record low of 0.9417 francs.
Japan’s currency rose to 81.39 yen per dollar from 81.62 yesterday, after earlier touching 81.29, the strongest since Nov. 9. The yen has risen 14 percent this year, the best performance among its major peers versus the dollar. The euro fell to 107.71 yen from 107.94 yen, after reaching 107.61 yen, the weakest since Sept. 14.
First-time filings for U.S. jobless insurance decreased to 415,000 in the week ended Dec. 25 from 420,000 in the previous week, according to a Bloomberg News survey of economists before the Labor Department data. The Isae institute’s index of Italy’s manufacturing-sentiment climbed to 102.00, the highest since March 2008, from 101.6 in November, another survey showed.