The dollar gained against most of its major peers before U.S. reports today and tomorrow that are forecast to show services industries grew for a 14th month and hiring increased in January.
The euro fell for the second day against the dollar as investors bet European Central Bank President Jean-Claude Trichet won't toughen the bank's anti-inflation stance. The Australian currency gained as reports on trade and building permits added to signs of resilience in the economy, according to BusinessWeek.
Three weeks after Jean-Claude Trichet jolted financial markets with a threat to raise interest rates, the European Central Bank President has even more reason to talk tough on inflation.
The euro-area rate rose to 2.4 percent in January, the highest in more than two years, workers are demanding bigger pay increases in Germany, where import-price inflation is running at the fastest pace in 29 years, and political tensions in Egypt are stoking oil prices.
The risk for Trichet is that his inflation-fighting rhetoric convinces investors the ECB will raise borrowing costs before Europe overcomes its debt crisis, Bloomberg says.
U.S. Justice Department is acting behind the scenes to have Assange extradicted from the Ecuadorean Embassy in London, and prosecuted in the U.S.