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The dollar fell to the lowest level in almost four months versus the euro as investors speculated a gain in U.S. payrolls last month won’t be enough to spur the Federal Reserve to raise interest rates soon as the European Central Bank prepared to lift its borrowing costs.
The dollar briefly gained versus the euro after Labor Department data showed U.S. employers added 192,000 workers in February and the unemployment rate unexpectedly fell to 8.9 percent, the lowest level since April 2009.
“The unemployment number was by no means a blowout number that’s going to make the Fed consider tightening anytime soon,” said Boris Schlossberg, director of research at online currency trader GFT Forex in New York. “That leaves the ECB way out front in terms of interest rate differential goes.”
The dollar tumbled yesterday after ECB President Jean- Claude Trichet said the ECB may increase interest rates at its next meeting to counter inflation pressures.
Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi sent troops to recapture towns in the western part of the country and prepared to quash protests in the capital, Tripoli. Crude oil for April delivery rose as much as 2.1 percent to $104.09, the highest since September 2008.
The Swiss franc rose against all of its 16 major counterparts as investors sought refuge amid a jump in crude oil to a 29-month high on concern turmoil in North Africa and the Mideast will disrupt supplies.
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