LONDON, March 15 | Tue Mar 15, 2011 5:34am EDT
(Reuters) – The Australian dollar extended falls against the U.S. dollar on Tuesday, losing two percent on the day, while the Swiss franc gained as fears about a nuclear crisis in Japan drove investors to slash exposure to risk.

The Australian dollar fell to a six-week low of $0.9877

The euro fell 1 percent against the Swiss franc EURCHF= and the yen.


The dollar fell against the euro for a fourth week in the longest stretch of losses in almost two years as bigger-than-expected U.S. job cuts spurred speculation that the Federal Reserve will buy more debt.

The U.S. currency dropped yesterday below 82 yen for the first time since 1995 before next week’s release of the central bank’s Sept. 21 policy meeting minutes. The Australian dollar and franc rallied to records against the greenback as investors sought currency alternatives, with the Aussie approaching parity and the Swiss currency trading higher for a third week

The pound advanced 0.9 percent to $1.5960 after the Bank of England held the target for bond holdings at 200 billion pounds ($319 billion). Sterling touched $1.6018 on Oct. 7, the highest level since Feb. 3.

The Brazilian real had its eighth straight weekly gain against the dollar, appreciating to 1.6661, as a tax increase on foreigners’ purchases of fixed-income assets failed to slow investment in the country.

The Swiss franc traded at record levels against the greenback, gaining for a fourth straight week as investors sought easily traded alternatives to the dollar. It appreciated to a record 95.55 centimes on Oct. 7.

The Australian dollar rose for an eighth week against the greenback in the longest winning streak since May 2009. The Aussie touched a record high 99.18 U.S. cents on Oct. 7 on stronger-than-expected Australian employment data.