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15.03.2012 18:41

American focus: the yen and the Swiss franc climbed

 

The yen climbed from an 11-month low against the dollar as investors wagered that its largest four-day decline since November may have happened too quickly. The Japanese central bank unexpectedly added 10 trillion yen ($120 billion) to its asset-purchase program at its Feb. 14 meeting and Governor Masaaki Shirakawa indicated the central bank will keep using monetary policy as a tool to tackle deflation on March 13. The Federal Reserve raised its outlook for U.S. growth at its meeting the same day, reducing expectations of a third round of bond purchases.

The pound weakened for the first time in three days against the euro after Fitch Ratings said the U.K. risks losing its top investment grade. The U.K. currency fell against 11 of its 16 major counterparts after Fitch changed its rating outlook yesterday on Britain to negative, citing a weak recovery and high debt levels. Fitch said its decision “reflects the very limited fiscal space to absorb further economic shocks in light of such elevated debt levels and a potentially weaker than currently forecast economic recovery.” The U.K. government is implementing the biggest squeeze on government spending since World War II as it attempts to reduce the nation’s deficit.

The Swiss franc climbed from a seven-week low against the dollar as the Swiss National Bank predicted the economy will expand 1 percent this year, twice as much as its previous estimate. Policy makers led by interim Chairman Thomas Jordan, maintained their ceiling for the currency at 1.20 francs per euro, and pledged to defend the cap with their “utmost determination.” The SNB forecast that consumer prices will fall 0.6 percent this year, before inflation returns in 2013 with a rate of 0.3 percent, accelerating to 0.6 percent in 2014.

15.03.2012 19:27

European stocks close:

15.03.2012 18:19

U.S. stocks advanced

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