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The euro gained the most in a month against the dollar after the Federal Reserve and five other central banks acted to make more funds available to lenders as Europe’s debt crisis threatens global economic growth. The central banks agreed to reduce the interest rate on dollar liquidity swap lines and extend their authorization through Feb. 1, 2013. The rate was cut to the dollar overnight index swap rate plus 50 basis points, or half a percentage point, from 100 basis points, the Fed said in a statement in Washington. The Bank of Canada, Bank of England, Bank of Japan, European Central Bank and Swiss National Bank are part of the coordinated move, the Fed said.
Europe’s shared currency weakened earlier after euro-area finance ministers conceded efforts to expand their bailout fund missed the target and said they would seek a greater role for the International Monetary Fund. All 27 European Union finance ministers meet today with a goal of agreeing on how to temporarily guarantee banks’ bond issuance to improve funding conditions for lending. European heads of government meet on Dec. 9 in Brussels, with Germany pushing for governance changes that would tighten enforcement of budget rules.
The dollar and yen slid earlier today as China cut the amount of cash banks must set aside as reserves to spur growth, damping demand for safer assets. The People’s Bank of China said reserve ratios will decline by 50 basis points effective Dec. 5, the first reduction since 2008.
Canada’s dollar rose after the nation’s economy grew at a 3.5 percent annualized pace in the third quarter, beating the 3 percent expansion forecast in a Bloomberg News survey.
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