Euro fell early in Asia to a four-month low against the dollar in reaction to negative news out of Europe over the weekend. Talks in Athens to form a coalition government failed again and concerns are growing for Greece’s exit from the euro. Also weighing on the single currency was the result of regional elections in Germany which showed Angela Merkel’s ruling coalition was thrashed in her party’s stronghold in the North Rhine-Westphalia state election. EURUSD opened in Asia at 1.2900 with a gap lower from Friday’s close of 1.2912 and fell of 1.2878, the lowest since January 23.
A broadly stronger dollar rose against the Swiss franc to hit the highest level since January. USDCHF opened at 0.9324, gapping higher from Friday’s close of 0.9293 and hit a high of 0.9306.
GBPUSD opened at 1.6061 and fell to a low of 1.6050. EURGBP gapped lower to open at 0.8026 from Friday’s close of 0.8031.
The Australian dollar dropped to less than parity with the US dollar for the first time this year amid risk aversion which curbed demand for higher-yielding currencies like the aussie. AUDUSD plunged to 0.9994, the lowest since December 20.
Yen weakened against the dollar and yen due to Japanese importers fixing positions and buying dollar. USDJPY opened at 79.96 and edged higher to 80.11 before easing slightly. EURJPY briefly rose to 103.35 and fell back down to 103.05.
Gold traded near a four-month low, trading a range of $1,577.90 and $1,585.48. The precious metal is weighed by dollar strength, the two assets usually have an inverse price relationship.