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The euro fell against most of its major peers amid concern that European Central Bank measures to support its banking sector won’t be enough to arrest region’s worsening sovereign-debt crisis.
The 17-nation currency erased an earlier advance as the ECB said it had awarded 489 billion euros ($637 billion) in 1,134- day loans to banks, more than the 293 billion euros forecast by economists, as investors bet the euro-region debt crisis is far from done. The euro-area economy will probably fail to grow next year after expanding 1.6 percent in 2011, while the U.S. is forecast to accelerate to 2.1 percent from 1.8 percent, according to Bloomberg surveys of economists.
The franc weakened 0.3 percent to 1.2222 per euro and 0.5 percent to 93.64 centimes per dollar.
Yields on Italian two-year notes rose as much as 27 basis points, or 0.27 percentage point, to 5.25 percent, snapping four-straight days of declining borrowing costs, while Spanish debt yields with the same maturity increased 27 basis points to 3.5 percent, after falling for eight days.
The rates have slipped more than one percentage point since ECB President Mario Draghi announced the unprecedented loans on Dec. 8 as investors bet that banks will use the cash to buy government debt.
The number of existing homes sold in the U.S. was revised down by an average 14 percent since 2007, magnifying the depth of the slump that contributed to the last recession. Purchases were revised to 4.19 million for 2010, down 15 percent from a prior estimate of 4.91 million, the National Association of Realtors said today in Washington.
IntercontinentalExchange Inc.’s Dollar Index, a gauge of the greenback against the currencies of six major U.S. trading partners, rose 0.2 percent to 79.980.
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