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The euro rallied to a one-week high against the dollar after borrowing costs fell at a Spanish bill sale and German business confidence unexpectedly increased, easing concern the region’s debt crisis is worsening. The euro strengthened after the Ifo institute’s business climate index for Germany, based on a survey of 7,000 executives, rose to 107.2 this month from 106.6 in November, boosting optimism that Europe’s largest economy will avoid a recession next year. Economists expected a drop to 106, the median of 36 forecasts in a Bloomberg News survey showed. Spanish two-year notes rose for an eighth day and Italian bonds gained as the European Central Bank offered unlimited three-year loans to the region’s banks, boosting demand for higher-yielding assets, amid speculation banks bought the debt to use as collateral for ECB loans.
The U.S. currency fell against all of its 16 most-traded counterparts tracked by Bloomberg on reduced demand for a refuge as builders broke ground in November on the most houses in more than a year, adding to evidence of economic recovery. мU.S. housing starts increased 9.3 percent to a 685,000 annual rate, exceeding the highest estimate of economists surveyed by Bloomberg News and the highest level since April 2010, Commerce Department figures showed today in Washington. Building permits, a proxy for future construction, also climbed to a more than one-year high. IntercontinentalExchange Inc.’s Dollar Index (DXY), a gauge of the greenback against the currencies of six major trading partners, decreased 0.6 percent to 79.832.
The yen weakened against most its major peers as government documents showed the Finance Ministry plans to raise the issuance limit for bills to fund currency intervention to 195 trillion yen ($2.5 trillion), the first increase since Sept. 30. The currency increased to a post-World War II record of 75.35 yen per dollar on Oct. 31.
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