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The dollar rose against most of its major counterparts as concern grew that risk-asset gains have outpaced prospects for economic growth, boosting appetite for the perceived safety of the greenback.
The 17-nation euro reached the highest level in almost two weeks against the dollar earlier after Greece won parliamentary approval for a bailout and as Germany and Portugal sold bonds at auctions. The euro was supported after Greece’s Prime Minister Lucas Papademos won approval for a 130-billion-euro ($172 billion) aid package. U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner said today that “Greece is making progress toward sustainability.”
The yen weakened against most of its major peers as concern increased the Bank of Japan will boost stimulus. Finance Minister Jun Azumi said the Bank of Japan established an inflation target of 1 percent on Feb. 14, replacing earlier wording that the central bank had an “understanding” of where consumer prices should go. It also said it would add 10 trillion yen ($119 billion) yen of stimulus to the economy.
The pound fell against the dollar as Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne cut the U.K.’s top 50 percent income- tax rate and slapped a levy on purchases of the most expensive houses in a budget that maintained his drive to eliminate most of the deficit by 2017. Britain’s currency fluctuated against the euro as minutes of the Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee’s March 7-8 meeting showed that the policy makers Adam Posen and David Miles wanted to increase the target for bond purchases by 25 billion pounds ($40 billion) to 350 billion pounds. The seven remaining members voted to keep the current 325 billion-pound target.
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