Currencies: Dollar Weaker Against Most Major Currencies

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The U.S. President is still Bill Clinton. After that, who knows? The Florida Supreme Court's decision to allow recounts to proceed -- and imposing a Monday deadline -- resulted in some weakness in the dollar overnight.

But the dollar is a resilient creature. The foreign exchange markets, unlike the U.S. stock market, seem to realize the delay doesn't constitute a crisis of any kind. So the dollar has since rebounded from its overnight lows, but is still weaker against most major currencies today.

The ever-embattled euro was lately traded at $0.8452, up from the previous evening's $0.8433 close. Overnight, it ticked up to $0.8485 on the election news.

"The bounce associated with the U.S. election uncertainty seems to have run its course," said Malcolm Barr, senior European economist at

Chase Manhattan

in London. "The market is increasingly of the opinion that it doesn't matter any more. As far as the currency markets, the key theme is the weakness of the euro on an ongoing basis; unless there's specific news, the bias is down."

Most recently, that was prompted by concerns that the European economy, which isn't as strong as the U.S. economy, is weakening. A key West German business survey released yesterday dipped to its lowest level in a year. Germany is the euro zone's largest economy.

It's the same story for the yen. Lately dollar/yen was traded at 110.20, down from 110.21 yesterday; it had managed some gains in the morning before dropping back. Euro/yen was lately at 93.20, up from 92.94 yesterday.

The decline in the yen is continuing after Japanese Prime Minister Yoshiro Mori survived a vote of no confidence late Monday. There's been significant weakness in the

Nikkei 225

, Tokyo's chief stock market, since the vote. The index finished down 107.15 to 14,301.31, the fifth straight decline and lowest close since March 4, 1999.

"We can point toward the news as a potential justification for that move, but it's more to do with latent themes in the market than any particular news," Barr said.

The Australian dollar rebounded a bit after falling to new lows against the dollar yesterday. It was rumored that the

Reserve Bank of Australia

, Australia's central bank, might intervene in the markets to support the currency. The Aussie lately traded at $0.5261, a significant gain from $0.5098 yesterday.

The sterling was traded at $1.4084, down from $1.4146 yesterday. The dollar was lower against the Canadian dollar; today the dollar bought C$1.5476, down from C$1.5502 yesterday.