The dollar continued to strengthen against the euro on Monday, even as European officials dismissed speculation the monetary union may split due to stresses caused by competitiveness gaps within the EU.
On a day bereft of first-tier economic news from the US, focus remained on developments across the Atlantic.
European Central Bank President Jean-Claude Trichet continued his vigorous defense of the monetary union, telling a French radio station that a breakup of the euro zone is an “absurd hypothesis.”
He also urged debt-ridden Euro zone nations to follow through with plans for austerity measures.
Concerns were raised by the ECB over the weekend that Ireland’s new regulations could interfere with efforts to provide liquidity to the euro area’s financial system.
The Irish Finance Ministry on Monday said neither the ECB nor any national central bank would be exposed financially by the recently announced Credit Institutions Stabilisation Bill.
The buck rose to a 3-week high of $1.31, edging closer to a 3-month high near $1.2960.
The dollar held its ground near $1.55 against the sterling, and remained locked in tight range near Y83.50 against the yen.
Late morning gains took the dollar to a 3-week high of C$1.02 against its Canadian counterpart.
In economic news from around the globe, the euro zone’s adjusted current-account deficit widened for the fourth month in a row in October to €9.8 billion ($12.92 billion), the European Central Bank said Monday.
Germany’s producer price index rose 4.4% year-on-year in November, the Federal Statistical Office said Monday. Economists had forecast 4.5% rise following October’s 4.3% increase.
Eurozone’s consumer confidence indicator fell to minus 11 in December from minus 9.4 in November, a flash estimate from the European Commission showed Monday.
Canadian wholesale sales were unexpectedly unchanged in October, as sales of machinery, equipment and supplies tailed off, official data showed Monday.
Wholesale sales remained unchanged at C$44.9 billion in October, after advancing 0.7% in September, according to Statistics Canada.