Investing.com – The euro rose above the $1.20 level on Tuesday, extending a recent advance, while the dollar slumped to two-and-a-half year lows against a currency basket amid heightened geopolitical tensions on the Korean peninsula.
hit a high of 1.2069, the strongest level since Jan. 2 2015 and was at 1.2045 by 06:11 AM ET (10:11 GMT).
Hopes that the European Central Bank will soon announce plans to taper its bond-buying stimulus program have driven the euro up around 14% against the dollar so far this year.
The single currency has strengthened since ECB President Mario Draghi’s speech at Jackson Hole on Friday.
Though Draghi gave no fresh monetary policy cues some investors interpreted his lack of comment on the recent strength of the euro as an indication that it would continue to climb.
The euro hit fresh eight year highs against the pound, with up 0.38% to 0.9297, the most since October 2009.
The euro has risen more than 9% against sterling so far this year, reflecting the diverging economic outlook for the euro zone and the UK and its implications for monetary policy.
The dollar fell to four-month lows against the safe haven yen after North Korea fired a missile over Japan, escalating tensions in the region after a recent period of calm.
was last down 0.63% at 108.55 after falling as low as 108.27 earlier, the weakest level since April 17.
The dollar fell to two-year lows against the traditional safe haven Swiss franc, with slumping 1.19% to 0.9439.
The yen and the Swissy are often sought in times of geopolitical tension or market turbulence because both countries have large current account surpluses.
The , which measures the greenback’s strength against a trade-weighted basket of six major currencies, was down 0.54% at 91.67, the weakest since January 2015.
The dollar was already on the defensive after speech by Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen in Jackson Hole made no reference to monetary policy, disappointing some investors who had hoped she would sound a hawkish tone.
The dollar was also under pressure amid concerns over the impact Hurricane Harvey on the U.S. economy after catastrophic flooding hit Texas and knocked out many oil refineries in the U.S. Gulf Coast.
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