Dollar Hits 12-Year Peak

The U.S. dollar climbed to multi-year peaks against the euro and yen in Asia on Tuesday amid starkly diverging outlooks for interest rates globally, while currencies from emerging markets came under mounting pressure from risk aversion.

Driving the dollar was speculation the Federal Reserve would start lifting interest rates from mid-year, while central banks in the European Union and Japan were busy easing policy by buying billions in government bonds.

Selling in the euro gathered pace through the Asian session as a break of $1.0822 triggered stop-loss offers and took it to $1.0785, the lowest since September 2003. Bears are now eyeing a major layer of chart support at $1.0762. The dollar also broke higher on the yen to reach 122.02, territory not visited since July 2007.

The pressure spread through Asia with the South Korean won hitting its lowest since late August 2013 and the Singapore dollar at its lowest since 2010.

The volatility in currencies overshadowed data from China that showed consumer prices topped expectations with an annual rise of 1.4 percent in February, although much of the pickup was caused by seasonal volatility in food prices.

Most commodities continued to struggle with the strength of the U.S. dollar. Gold fell to a three-month low around $1,159.20 an ounce, while copper futures lost 0.5 percent. Oil managed minor gains, with Brent crude oil up 13 cents to $58.66 a barrel, while U.S crude added 26 cents to $50.26.

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