Dollar under pressure on rising Ukraine tension

Investors moved to the safety of the and Swiss franc on Friday, unnerved by escalating tensions between the West and Russia over Ukraine, and also took advantage of higher yielding Pacific currencies.

Mixed U.S. data in recent weeks has left investors without a clear trend, which is now being trumped by the geopolitical concerns in Europe, a combination that has made placing big bets on currency movements high risk endeavors.

Next week's euro zone April flash inflation report and April U.S. employment data are the key economic events that could pull attention away from Ukraine.


The dollar fell to 102.13 yen, down 0.16 percent on the day and its worst levels in a week. The greenback slid about 0.04 percent near 0.88 Swiss francs.

The bounced from a 2-1/2 week nadir, to trade near $0.93, up about 0.05 percent. The New Zealand dollar climbed to to almost $0.86. The greenback fell 0.82 percent to 60.64 .

With tensions between Ukraine and Russia high, Ukrainian special forces launched a second phase of their operation in the east of the country on Friday, an official on the presidential staff said.

The United States said it was prepared to impose further targeted sanctions on Russia over its actions in Ukraine and that European leaders had agreed to coordinate on steps to make Moscow pay.

The euro added 0.06 percent to $1.3839.

Volumes in euro/Danish crown trades picked up for a second day, according to Reuters Matching. The euro recovered from a near three-month low against the crown to trade above 7.46 crowns.

The crown strengthened after the Danish central bank surprised the market by raising the rate on certificate of deposits and ending a regime of negative interest rates in a bid to stem outflows and support the currency.