American focus: the euro is under pressure.
The euro fell from an almost three- month high versus the dollar as Germany ruled out allowing the European Financial Stability Facility to fund bond buybacks, reviving concern the region’s sovereign-debt crisis may worsen.
The shared currency weakened for the first time in three days against the greenback after Ireland’s credit rating was cut by Standard & Poor’s. The pound rose against the dollar for a third day as a Bank of England policy maker said borrowing costs should be increased. Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak sought to reclaim Cairo’s streets from protesters.
“There seems to be an element of risk-off, especially for euro,” said Amelia Bourdeau, a currency strategist in Stamford, Connecticut, at UBS AG. “It’s combination of the S&P downgrade to Ireland, mixed comments on the EFSF coming out of Germany and the continued troubles in Egypt.”
The euro fell 0.4 percent against the dollar to $1.3777 at 11:55 a.m. in New York. Earlier it rose to $1.3862, the highest level since Nov. 9. Against the yen, the shared currency rose 0.2 percent to 112.68 per euro after rising earlier as much as 0.4 percent.
The rating cut to A- from A and negative credit outlook on Ireland reflects “our view of the uncertainties surrounding the size of Ireland’s additional capital needs for its largely state-owned financial sector,” S&P said.