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The yen rallied to the strongest level since World War II versus the dollar as the U.S. economic slowdown and Europe’s debt crisis stoked concern global growth is slumping bolstered the refuge appeal of Japan’s currency.
The franc rallied even after the Swiss National Bank said this week it may take further steps to curb the currency’s strength.
The euro erased losses versus the dollar and yen on speculation the Federal Reserve will consider measures to help ease financial- market turmoil. Fed Chairman Ben S. Bernanke speaks at an economic conference next week in Jackson Hole, Wyoming.
The euro gained versus the dollar after Spanish Finance Minister Elena Salgado said measures approved today to reduce pharmaceutical spending will save the nation 2.4 billion euros ($3.5 billion) in a full year.
Japanese Finance Minister Yoshihiko Noda signaled he’s ready to do another “surprise” intervention in markets to curb yen gains. Noda said yesterday he “will keep monitoring markets carefully” and that intervention “is a measure of last resort - it would be meaningless if it were not a surprise.”
The Japanese currency has gained 5.5% over the past three months. The franc, the biggest gainer, has risen 11%, while the dollar is down 2%.
Gold rose to a record above $1,880 an ounce in New York.
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