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The pound fell for the first time in four days against the dollar as minutes of the latest Bank of England meeting showed some policy makers saw a risk that more bond purchases may be required.
The euro declined against most of its major counterparts amid speculation Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou will struggle to pass additional austerity measures, even after winning a confidence vote last night.
Papandreou will seek approval next week for a 78 billion-euro ($112 billion) package of budget cuts and asset sales to stave off the threat of default.
“Markets are refocusing on the fact that the euro zone has dodged the bullet in terms of the confidence vote, but now we are looking forward to the austerity vote,” said Jeremy Stretch, executive director of foreign-exchange strategy at Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce in London. “Whether the response will continue to be the case for the austerity measures next week is a little bit more questionable.”
The International Monetary Fund, contributor of a third of the bailout money for Greece and the two other euro-area countries that have received bailouts, Ireland and Portugal, has warned European Union leaders that a failure to take decisive action on the debt crisis risks triggering “large global spillovers.”
Gains by the dollar may be limited as the Fed ends a two- day policy meeting and Chairman Ben S. Bernanke holds a press conference. Policy makers will keep the benchmark at zero to 0.25 percent, where it’s been since December 2008.
The committee will “firm up” language around keeping borrowing costs low for an extended period and apply that to its balance sheet as well, BNP Paribas SA analysts led by New York- based Ray Attrill wrote in a note to clients.
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