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The Swiss franc climbed against all of its 16 most-traded peers, reaching a record versus the euro, on concern Greece’s debt crisis threatens the region’s economic recovery as European leaders struggle to resolve it.
The euro erased losses against the dollar as stocks rallied. The pound advanced after the U.K.’s gross domestic product rose in the first quarter. The franc climbed versus Europe’s shared currency for a fourth day, the longest winning streak in a month.
The franc also strengthened as investors speculated the record exchange rate against the euro won’t prevent Switzerland’s central bank from raising interest rates as the economy expands. Jan-Egbert Sturm, head of the KOF Swiss Economic Institute, told state television the central bank may increase borrowing costs from near zero as soon as next month.
The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development said in a report today the Swiss central bank should start raising borrowing costs this year to counter emerging inflationary pressures.
“Equities have turned positive, and the euro is benefiting from it,” said Brian Taylor, chief currency trader at Manufacturers & Traders Trust in Buffalo, New York. “The equity market is moving up a little bit despite the numbers that came out with durable goods.”
U.S. durable goods orders decreased 3.6 percent following a 4.1 percent jump in March, dropping the most in six months, Commerce Department data showed today.
The euro fell against the franc as European officials disagreed over how to resolve the debt crisis.
European Union Economic and Monetary Affairs Commissioner Olli Rehn told the French newspaper Les Echos in an interview Greek debt maturities could be extended on a voluntary basis.
European Central Bank Executive Board Member Juergen Stark said Greece, Ireland and Portugal need a “drastic change” in economic policy. Restructuring Greece’s debt “cannot, must not be the solution,” Stark said in a speech in Berlin. Euro-area leaders should “please consider the consequences” of a debt restructuring, Stark said.
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