Investing.com - The yen gained in Asia on Wednesday, reversing early weakness as machinery order data came in below expected levels and with investors looking ahead to minutes from the Federal Reserve's latest board meeting.
Earlier, the MI leading index came in flat from a 0.3% drop in January.
The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback’s strength against a trade-weighted basket of six major currencies, was down 0.14% at 96.76.
Overnight, the dollar erased losses against the other major currencies on Tuesday, despite the release of disappointing manufacturing activity from the New York area as investors continued to focus on the oil market.
The Federal Reserve Bank of New York said that its general business conditions index improved to -16.7 this month from a reading of -19.4 in January. Analysts had expected the index to rise to -10.0 in February.
Markets were jittery after a meeting between oil ministers from Saudi Arabia, Russia, Qatar and Venezuela ended with consensus to freeze output, but not to cut production.
Oil prices soared nearly 6% earlier Tuesday following news that oil ministers from top producers Saudi Arabia and Russia were to meet in Qatar, fueling speculation of a coordinated cut in crude output.
Data on Tuesday showed that German economic sentiment fell sharply this month, amid concerns over falling oil prices, slowing global growth and heightened market volatility.
The ZEW index of German economic sentiment fell to 1 this month from 10.2 in January, but was still slightly better than economists’ forecasts for a reading of zero.
In the minutes of its February policy meeting on Tuesday, the Reserve Bank of Australia said that record-low interest rates are helping consumer spending and house building while a lower currency is improving firms' competitiveness.
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