The euro wallowed just above a fresh 12-year low early on Thursday having faced an unrelenting onslaught this week as the ECB launched its 1 trillion EUR bond-buying campaign. The program has already driven yields of many euro zone bonds deeper into negative territory and others to all-time lows. Developments in Greece continued to garner some attention, though Athens appeared to have made no headway in persuading euro zone partners to renegotiate terms of a 240 billion EUR bailout.
In contrast, USD surged to a 12-year high against a basket of major currencies, amid expectations that the US Fed will begin hiking interest rates in the coming months and after the ECB began buying sovereign bonds on Monday to try and boost growth and inflation in the region. The Dollar Index came within a whisker of 100.00 for the first time since April, 2003. The Canadian dollar slumped to its weakest finish in 6 years against USD on Wednesday, as a rallying greenback and slumping crude prices weighed on the currency.
The NZD jumped a full U.S. cent on Thursday, following the decision of the Reserve Bank of New Zealand (RBNZ) to keep interest rates at 3.5 (the kiwi rallied to $0.7315). Meanwhile, Australian data showed employment rose moderately in February, 2015 and the unemployment rate ticked down from a decade high. The AUD inched higher to $0.7606, having touched a 6-year trough.