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The euro advanced for the first time in four days against the yen and gained versus the dollar on speculation the European Central Bank will raise interest rates further even as nations such as Greece struggle to contain sovereign-debt turmoil.
The 17-nation euro rose as a boost in German manufacturing outweighed Greece’s record two-year note yield above 20 percent. The cost of insuring Greek government debt rose to a record yesterday, with contracts indicating investors see a greater than 60 percent chance of default within five years. Greece’s two-year yield rose 39 basis points to a record 20.73 percent.
The ECB governing council member Nout Wellink said yesterday in Toronto the central bank’s April 7 interest-rate increase sent to investors an “extremely important” signal aimed at preventing expectations of higher inflation.
“The ECB’s message has been very clear, which is that they want to continue to raise interest rates,” Kathy Lien, director of currency research at the online trader GFT Forex in New York. “That in conjunction with positive data is helping to keep the euro propped.”
Germany’s purchasing managers’ index for manufacturing unexpectedly climbed to 61.7 this month from 60.9 in March, according to Markit Economics. The median forecast of economists iwas for a decrease to 60. A reading above 50 signals an expansion.
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