Forexpros – The U.S. dollar traded higher against its major counterparts Monday, as worries regarding the debt crisis in the euro zone increased the risk off environment. However, the euro remained supported ahead of an expected liquidity injection by the European Central Bank Wednesday.
During U.S. morning trade, the dollar was higher against the euro, with EUR/USD dropping 0.45% to hit 1.3388.
Euro zone finance ministers and central bankers met in Mexico and urged G-20 nations to find additional funds that the IMF could provide to the euro zone.
IMF Managing Director, Christine Lagarde stated at the meeting that she wants to increase the fund’s lending capacity by USD500 billion to protect the global economy from further shocks.
Pressuring the single currency lower, the G-20 leaders told the euro zone to provide more financial strength before they would consider providing support.
The primary onus fell on Germany, which is already the largest national contributor to the bailouts.
German Chancellor, Angela Merkel said there is no need to increase the lending capacity of the euro zone’s bailout fund, citing lowered borrowing costs as evidence.
In Greek news, Germany’s parliament is holding a vote on the second Greek bailout package in Berlin today.
The country needs to decide if it will back plans at a March 1-2 European Union summit to combine rescue funds for the euro zone and create a EUR750 billion financial firewall.
In euro positive news, the single currency found some support as markets looked ahead to a liquidity boosting operation by the ECB, set to take place on Wednesday, after a similar operation in December eased pressure on bond markets.
The central bank announced earlier that it had not purchased any euro zone government debt on the secondary bond market for the second consecutive week since it re-launched its bond purchasing program in August.
The greenback was also higher against the pound, with GBP/USD falling 0.30% to hit 1.5824.
Elsewhere, the greenback was lower against its Canadian, Australian and New Zealand counterparts, with USD/CAD dipping 0.07% to hit 0.9987, AUD/USD rising 0.69% to hit 1.0769 and NZD/USD rising 0.53% to hit 0.8404.
In New Zealand, government data indicated that the trade balance dropped to a deficit of NZD199 million in January, from a surplus of NZD306 million the previous month.
The dollar index, which tracks the performance of the greenback versus a basket of six other major currencies, inched up 0.14% to hit 78.59.
In the U.S., a report by the National Association of Realtors indicated that pending home sales climbed to a two-year high last month, increasing by 2%, doubling expectations for a 1% gain and indicating more favorable conditions in the housing market.