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The Swiss franc fell against most of its major counterparts as concern eases that the political turmoil in Libya will disrupt global oil markets, denting the refuge appeal of the currency.
The MSCI World Index rose for the first time in five days, gaining 0.8%, while the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index advanced 0.7%. Crude oil futures fluctuated after rising earlier to $99.20 a barrel in New York.
The yen gained against the dollar for an eighth day, the longest winning streak this year, after data showed the U.S. economy grew more slowly than first estimated in the fourth quarter.
U.S. gross domestic product expanded in the fourth quarter at a 2.8% annual pace, compared with an earlier estimate of 3.2%, Commerce Department figures showed today in Washington. The forecast in a survey of economists was for a 3.3% increase. GDP grew 2.6% in the third quarter. The franc retreated from a record high versus the greenback and the Australian and New Zealand dollars strengthened against most major peers as investors sought higher-yielding assets such as equities. New Zealand’s dollar also rose after Standard & Poor’s said the earthquake in Christchurch would have no immediate effect on the nation’s credit rating.
The dollar pared its loss against the yen after U.S. consumer confidence rose more than forecast this month, according to the Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan sentiment index, increasing to 77.5 from 74.2 last month.
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