The Swiss franc strengthened against the other major currencies in the European session on Thursday, as weak U.S. data and a deepening political crisis in Yemen sapped investors’ appetite for riskier assets.

The U.K.’s FTSE 100 index is currently down 1.36 percent or 94.94 points at 6,896, France’s CAC 40 index is down 0.73 percent or 36.62 points at 4,984 and Germany’s DAX is down 1.98 percent or 234.44 points at 11,630.

Data from the Commerce Department showed Wednesday that U.S. durable goods orders fell by 1.4 percent in February following a downwardly revised 2.0 percent increase in January. Economists had expected orders to climb by 0.7 percent compared to the 2.8 percent jump that had been reported for the previous month.

Saudi Arabia and its allies began airstrikes against Houthi fighters who have tightened their grip on the nearby port city of Aden, where the country’s president Abdu Rabu Mansour Hadi had taken refuge.

Saudi ambassador in the US, Adel al-Jubeir said the military action was aimed to defend the “legitimate government” of President Abd rabbu Mansour Hadi, who has taken refuge in the southern port city of Aden.

In Asian deals, the Swiss franc held steady against its major rivals.

In the European session today, the Swiss franc rose to nearly a 4-week high of 0.9489 against the U.S. dollar and a 2-day high of 1.4210 against the pound, from early lows of 0.9605 and 1.4293, respectively. If the Swiss franc extends its uptrend, it is likely to find resistance around 0.93 against the greenback and 1.40 against the pound.

Moving away from an early 2-day low of 123.63 against the yen, the Swiss franc edged up to 124.74. On the upside, 127.50 is seen as the next resistance elevel for the Swiss franc.

Against the euro, the Swiss franc edged up to 1.0476 from an early low of 1.0542. The Swiss franc may test resistance near the 1.03 region.

Looking ahead, U.S. weekly jobless claims for the week ended March 21 and Markit’s U.S. PMI reports for March are slated for release in the New York session.

At 9:00 am ET, U.S. Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta President Dennis Lockhart will deliver a speech about the economic outlook and monetary policy at the Engage International Investment Education Symposium, in Detroit.

Subsequently, European Central Bank president Mario Draghi will address the Italian parliament’s finance and EU policy committees in Rome at 9:15 am ET. After 15 minutes, Bank of Canada Governor Stephen Poloz is expected to speak at the Canada-UK Chamber of Commerce, in London.

At 1:30 pm ET, Bank of England Governor Mark Carney will hold a press conference about his role as Chair of the Financial Stability Board, in Frankfurt. After half-an-hour, Swiss National Bank member Fritz Zurbrugg will deliver a speech about monetary policy after the cap at the Money Market Event in Zurich.

The material has been provided by InstaForex Company –