Sterling was weaker in Monday Asian trading and touched a fresh seven-year low against the dollar. The pound lost 0.2 per cent to trade at $1.3849. Last week, sterling lost 3.7 per cent for its biggest weekly drop since December 2008. The currency came under pressure due to a rise in the odds that the UK may vote at a June 23 referendum to leave the European Union.
The yen strengthened and was 0.5 per cent stronger at Y113.41 per dollar in mid-morning trade.
Data from Japan this morning helped support the yen. Industrial production rose by 3.7 per cent month-on-month in January, beating forecasts. It rebounded from a 1.7 per cent decline in December. However, the year-on-year rate remained subdued at minus 3.8 per cent.
The New Zealand dollar was one of the worst-performing currencies in the Asian session. The kiwi was down 0.9 per cent versus the greenback at $0.6570, after a survey of business confidence in New Zealand fell sharply in February. Also, data showed the biggest contraction in building permits in the country since September 2014.
Oil price only bounced slightly after Friday’s big tumble. Brent crude, the international benchmark, was up 1.3 per cent on Monday at $35.57 a barrel in Asian trade, after a 0.5 per cent decline on Friday. WTI crude, the US benchmark, was up 0.4 per cent at $32.90, having dropped 0.9 per cent on Friday.
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