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19.12.2011 08:28

Forex: Weekly’s review

On Monday the euro fell to the lowest level in two months versus the dollar as Moody’s Investors Service said it will review the ratings of European Union nations after last week’s summit failed to produce decisive steps to end the debt crisis. Italian bonds slid as the nation sold 7 billion euros ($9.3 billion) of one-year bills to yield 5.95 percent, compared with an average 2.70 percent in the past five years. The dollar and yen strengthened against a majority of their most-traded counterparts as investors sought safer assets on concern crisis-fighting efforts are failing to stop European borrowing costs from rising.

On Tuesday the euro fell  on concern European leaders won’t agree on ways to expand the region’s rescue capacities as debt-strapped nations struggle to fund their deficits. The euro dropped after Chancellor Angela Merkel told German coalition lawmakers that the 500 billion euro cap on Europe’s planned permanent bailout fund will stay in place. The dollar declined against the yen before the Federal Reserve holds a meeting amid speculation officials will maintain their pledge to keep borrowing costs at almost zero.

On Wednesday the euro fell below $1.30 for the first time since January as signs of increased funding stress in Europe damped investor appetite for the shared currency. The euro declined as Italian borrowing costs increased at a debt auction and Spanish banks’ borrowings from the European Central Bank climbed by the most in a year. The pound was the biggest gainer against the euro among the major currencies as investors sought protection from the crisis. The pound rose for a third day against the euro as stock declines spurred demand for the perceived safety of the British currency.

On Thursday the euro rose after Spain sold more than its maximum target at a debt auction, easing concern the region’s debt crisis is worsening. The euro pared losses versus the yen after a report showed European manufacturing and service industries contracted less this month than economists forecast. The Swiss franc strengthened against all its major counterparts after the central bank refrained from introducing new measures to weaken the currency at a policy meeting. The franc gained the most in eight weeks against the euro after Switzerland’s central bank left its limit on the currency unchanged, resisting pressure from exporters to further curb its strength as officials take time to assess deflation risks.

On Friday the euro declined against the dollar after Fitch Ratings said it may downgrade Belgium, Spain, Slovenia, Italy, Ireland and Cyprus, adding to concern the region’s debt crisis hasn’t been contained. The euro rose earlier after Luxembourg’s Jean- Claude Juncker said Europe should meet a deadline for arranging loans with the International Monetary Fund as part of a crisis- fighting package.

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