The dollar stabilized after hitting a 15-year low versus the yen Wednesday morning in New York, as Japanese officials stepped up efforts to talk down their surging currency.
The yen has become the world’s preferred safe haven currency of late, and has soared amid growing concerns about a global double-dip recession.
Recent economic data from the US has signaled that the world’s largest economy has lost momentum due to weakness in the jobs and housing markets.
On the economic front, the Commerce Department will release its report on durable goods orders for July at 8.30 a.m. ET. Economists expect that durable goods orders increased 3.1% during the month, following a 1.2% decline in the previous month.
At 10.00 a.m. ET, the Commerce Department will release a report on new home sales for July. Economists expect new home sales of 330,000, unchanged from the previous month, which saw a 23.6% rebound in the previous month.
The buck steadied versus the yen last night, and was drifting slightly higher to 84.60 in early dealing today.
The Japanese government will take “appropriate” measures when necessary to address the foreign exchange volatility, Nikkei reported on Wednesday quoting Finance Minister Yoshihiko Noda.
On Tuesday, the dollar hit 83.58 — its lowest since 1995.
The dollar rose to $1.26300 versus the euro, staying near yesterday’s monthly high of 1.2586. Strong gains over the past two weeks have taken the dollar back toward June’s 4-year high of 1.1805.
Standard & Poor’s cut its credit rating on Ireland, and assigned the country a negative outlook late on Tuesday.
The dollar firmed up a bit to $1.5400 against the sterling, and to C$1.0650 versus Canada’s loonie.