Asian markets took a cue from Japan, where the Nikkei fell on a stronger yen, which hurts Japan's export-oriented economy.
In Europe, stocks were down on uncertainty surrounding the election in Italy in which Prime Minister Mario Monti was trounced.
Gold prices, up more than 2 percent in two days, added $20.80 Tuesday to $1,613.40 per troy ounce. Silver added 37 cents to $29.41 per ounce.
Against the dollar the euro rose to $1.3064 from Monday's $1.3062. Against the yen, the dollar was higher at 91.94 yen from 91.82 yen.
The British pound fell to $1.5125 from $1.5165. The dollar fell to 1.0255 Canadian dollars from 1.0261 Canadian.