Dollar up as Ukraine tension breaks peso's two-day climb

London (Apr 14) The dollar strengthened on Monday as investors turned to safe haven bets on renewed tensions in Ukraine, breaking a two-day winning streak of the peso.

A dollar fetched P44.455, or 17.5 centavos more than the 44.28 on Friday.

"The US dollar recovered after a week-long depreciation versus other currencies as escalating tensions in Ukraine spurred the purchase of safe assets such as the US dollar, yen and gold," Metisetrade Inc. research analyst Guaya Yroen Melgar said.

After weeks of calm, Ukraine and Russia were again the main focus of investors as fears grew over the possibility of a military action in eastern Ukraine, where pro-Russian separatists have been occupying state buildings, Reuters reported.

In Asia, most emerging Asian currencies eased as the US dollar, stoked by risk aversion gained strength across the board, the wire service said in a separate report.

Investors are now wary of a stronger dollar due to a pickup in US retail sales, Melgar said.

Headline retail sales data is expected to grow by 0.8 percent this month, the highest in more than a year while core data is expected to grow by 0.5 percent.

"Higher actual results could contribute to additional dollar strength for tomorrow’s trading," Melgar said.