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The yen dropped the most in almost three weeks versus the dollar after Bank of Japan Governor Masaaki Shirakawa said the economy is in a “very severe” state, fueling bets monetary policy may be eased further.
The Japanese currency weakened against most of its major counterparts.
The pound rose from almost a one-month low versus the dollar as U.K. inflation accelerated to the highest level since 2008, increasing pressure on the Bank of England to raise interest rates.
U.K. consumer prices increased 4.5% last month from a year earlier after a 4% gain in March, the Office for National Statistics said today. The median forecast of economists was a 4.1% rise. Core inflation accelerated to a record. The British central bank has held its official bank rate at 0.5% since March 2009.
Japan’s economy has been in a severe situation since the March 11 earthquake and the central bank is committed to ending deflation, Shirakawa told today. The government hoped for “flexible” action by the bank to support the economy and will also closely watch the currency, according to a statement approved by Prime Minister Naoto Kan’s Cabinet.
Ministers for the first time also floated the idea of talks with bondholders over extending Greece’s repayment schedule. Europe would consider “reprofiling” Greek bond maturities as part of a package including stepped-up sales of state assets and deeper spending cuts, Juncker said.
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