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16.05.2011 17:49

US focus: Euro gains versus Dollar; Franc rises

The euro rose versus the dollar as stocks and commodities pared losses and inflation in the 17- nation currency bloc gained to the fastest since 2008, boosting pressure on the European Central Bank to raise interest rates.
The Swiss franc rose against most major currencies as finance ministers at a meeting in Brussels struggled to resolve the euro region’s debt crisis.
European finance ministers stepped up the pressure on Greece to sell assets and deepen spending cuts to win an increase of its 110 billion-euro ($156 billion) aid package and more time to repay the loans.
In deliberations clouded by the absence of International Monetary Fund Managing Director Dominique Strauss-Kahn, Europe’s rich countries tied extra money to pledges by Greece to reap more revenue at home and weighed whether to make bondholders share the pain.
Also on the agenda were aid for Portugal and the nomination of Bank of Italy Governor Mario Draghi to be the next president of the European Central Bank.
Nemat Shafik, an IMF deputy managing director, was tapped to represent the institution at the Brussels meeting after Strauss-Kahn was charged with attempted rape in New York. He denied the charges.

Consumer-price growth in the 17-nation euro region quickened to 2.8%. That was in line with an initial estimate on April 29.
The ECB raised its benchmark rate to 1.25% in April. The Federal Reserve has kept its key rate at zero to 0.25% since December 2008.
The Federal Reserve Bank of New York’s general economic index fell to 11.9 from a one-year high of 21.7 in April as the cost of raw materials surged. Economists projected it would slip to 19.6.


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