The U.S. dollar advanced against major currencies on Monday as growing concerns over Spain's bailout request and Greece's austerity plan reduced market risk appetite. New York trading was thin as Hurricane Sandy is expected to attack the east coast later on Monday.
The dollar and yen strengthened due to increased demand for relatively safe assets. The New York stocks markets were closed in anticipation of Hurricane Sandy which is estimated to bring damage of at least 6 billion dollars, and the weather further affected market risk appetite.
Spain's Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy said he would request a bailout as soon as he judges it's in his country's interests during a meeting with Italian Premier Mario Monti in Madrid.
Moreover, German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble said on Monday that it would be "a bit unrealistic" to impose more losses on private bondholders, adding more concerns to the debt crisis.
European Commission, the International Monetary Fund and the European Central Bank are still assessing progress of Greece's austerity plans and it remained uncertain if Greece would be able to obtain the bailout fund soon.
Meanwhile, the dollar was boosted by upbeat U.S. consumption data. Consumer spending, which contributes 70 percent of the country's growth, increase 0.8 percent in September, the largest since February, said the Commerce Department on Monday.
In late New York trading, the euro dropped to 1.2904 from 1. 2932 of the previous session, and the British pound fell to 1.6034 dollars from 1.6099.
The dollar increased to 0.9365 Swiss francs from 0.9352 and climbed to 1.0008 Canadian dollars from 0.9988.
The dollar bought 79.82 Japanese yen, higher than 79.66 in the previous session.
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