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The dollar strengthened versus the euro and the yen as reports showed U.S. consumer confidence reached the highest level since 2008 and home values climbed, bolstering bets the Federal Reserve will slow its bond buying.
The Conference Board's confidence index rose to 76.2, the strongest since February 2008, from a revised 69 in April, data from the New York-based research group showed today. The median forecast called for an increase to 71.2.
The Standard & Poor's/Case-Shiller index of property values increased 10.9 percent in March from a year earlier, the biggest gain since April 2006, a report showed in New York.
Japan's currency slid against most of its 16 major peers after an adviser to Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said the nation's central bank can add to its unprecedented stimulus if necessary to support economic revival. The Bank of Japan pledged April 4 to double bond buying in an attempt to secure 2 percent inflation and drag the world's third-biggest economy out of 15 years of deflation. BOJ Governor Haruhiko Kuroda "should continue to trust in his judgment and ease further" if needed, Koichi Hamada, a retired Yale University professor advising Abe, said today. The policy is working "as well or better than expected," he said.
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