The Japanese yen reinforced as Japan’s Nikkei closed downward 5.4% overnight, the largest fall in three years amid mounting fears over the health of the global economy and the financial sector. As a result the dollar dropped 0.87% against the yen, with USD/JPY to trade at 114.84, a more than one-year low.
The single currency rose 0.39% against the dollar, with EUR/USD to trade at 1.1237. Data earlier evidenced that German industrial output unexpectedly fell 1.2% in December, indicating that the region’s largest economy ended 2015 on a weak ground.
The dollar inched higher against the Sterling pound, with GBP/USD down 0.12% at 1.4414 and was lower against the Swiss franc, with USD/CHF declining 0.86% to 0.9783.
The U.K. Office for National Statistics announced today that the total trade deficit widened to £10.3 billion in the fourth quarter from £8.5 billion pounds in the previous quarter, marking the biggest trade gap since the start of 2015. The annual trade deficit widened to £34.7 billion in 2015, up from £0.3 billion in 2014.
The U.S. dollar slid lower against its Canadian counterpart, although declining oil prices continued to weigh on the commodity related currency. USD/CAD slipped 0.33% to trade at 1.3881.
Meanwhile, the Australian and New Zealand dollars were weaker, with AUD/USD down 1.42% at 0.6988 and with NZD/USD retreating 0.78% to 0.6577. The National Australia Bank earlier reported that its business confidence index ticked down to 2 in January from 3 the previous month, in line with expectations.
The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback’s strength against a trade-weighted basket of six major currencies, was down 0.36% at 96.41.