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The euro dropped as European finance ministers ruled out immediate steps to tackle the debt crisis.
The 17-nation currency fell for the first time in more than a week against the Swiss franc on speculation an attempt to restructure WestLB AG, the German state-owned bank bailed out during the financial crisis, is floundering.
“The fall-off in the euro is from concerns over the German bank WestLB,” said Carl Forcheski at Societe Generale SA. “If people get the impression things aren’t being worked out, from the finance minister meeting, they have so many underlying problems that could cause the euro to come down even more.”
German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble told reporters before a meeting of European finance ministers in Brussels today that “stable” financial markets ease pressure for a boost in the 440 billion-euro ($593 billion) rescue fund.
“The markets are so stable right now that it’s better not to unsettle them with superfluous discussions,” Schaeuble said. “No especially exciting news” will come out of the meeting, according to Schaeuble.
The dollar remained lower versus the yen as President Barack Obama sent Congress a $3.7 trillion budget that projects the federal deficit will exceed $1 trillion for the fourth consecutive year in 2012 before falling to more “sustainable” levels by the middle of the decade.
The pound gained before a report this week forecast to show inflation accelerated, reinforcing expectations the Bank of England will raise interest rates.
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