The dollar held gains against its peers on Tuesday, drawing support as the euro slid overnight on increasing worries that Greece could default on its debt and eventually exit the single currency. The common currency took a hit after public sector entities in Greece were ordered to transfer idle reserves to the central bank to help alleviate a cash squeeze. Athens is in negotiations with its euro zone partners and the International Monetary Fund over reforms required to unlock remaining bailout funds before it runs out of cash and loses its ability to repay debt. The latest development in the Greek debt saga hit the headlines just as the euro posted four straight days of gains against the greenback amid a pullback in expectations for a June interest rate hike by the Federal Reserve.
Gold prices rose slightly in Asia early on Tuesday with the focus on Greece's ability to negotiate with creditors ahead of major debt payments in the coming month. On the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange, gold futures rose 0.12%, to $1,195.10 a troy ounce. Elsewhere, silver for May delivery gained 0.07%, to $15.900 a troy ounce. Copper for May delivery was flat, at $2.725 a pound.
Asian stocks were firm on Tuesday after China's latest step to prop up its faltering economy lifted global equities. MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan, .MIAPJ0000PUS was steady, with the dollar's gains against some Asian currencies offsetting a rise in stock prices in local currency terms. Japan's Nikkei .N225 and South Korean shares each added 0.2 percent, while Australian shares rose 0.4 percent.