Investing.com – The dollar turned broadly lower against the other major currencies on Tuesday, after the release of downbeat U.S. factory orders data and as investors remained cautious amid mounting tensions with North Korea.
The greenback was hit after data showed that U.S. factory orders declined in July, sparking concerns over the strength of the manufacturing sector.
The safe-haven yen and Swiss franc moved higher, with USD/JPY sliding 0.72% to 108.93 and with USD/CHF down 0.21% to trade at 0.9560.
Investors were still cautious after North Korea conducted its sixth and largest ever nuclear test on Sunday, prompting U.S. Defense Secretary James Mattis to say that any threat to the U.S. or its allies would be met with a “massive military response”.
On Monday, South Korea said its northern neighbor had been observed moving what appeared to be an intercontinental ballistic missile towards its west coast.
Meanwhile, the United Nations was said to be considering tougher economic sanctions against North Korea.
EUR/USD gained 0.34% to 1.1936, while GBP/USD advanced 0.68% to 1.3017 even after data on Tuesday showed that activity in the UK service sector dropped more than expected in August, hitting an 11-month low.
The Australian and New Zealand dollars remained higher, with AUD/USD up 0.99% at 0.8024 and with NZD/USD rallying 1.35% to 0.7259.
In widely expected move, the Reserve Bank of Australia held its benchmark interest rate at 1.50% on Tuesday.
Commenting on the decision, RBA Governor Philip Lowe said recent data had been consistent with the bank’s expectation that growth in the economy would gradually pick up in the coming year.
Separately, the Australian Bureau of Statistics said the current account surplus widened to A$9.6 billion in the second quarter from a revised A$4.8 billion in the first quarter of the year. Analysts had expected the current account surplus to hit A$8.1 billion in the last quarter.
Meanwhile, USD/CAD dropped 0.52% to trade at 1.2348, re-approaching Friday’s more than two-year low of 1.2339.
The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback’s strength against a trade-weighted basket of six major currencies, was down 0.43% at 92.17 by 10:50 a.m. ET (14:50 GMT).