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The euro advanced amid optimism Greek lawmakers will pass a package of austerity measures aimed at averting the currency region’s first sovereign default.
The 17-nation common currency climbed to the strongest level in a week versus the dollar as investors bet Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou will scrape through approval even as protests raged and workers took to the streets in a general strike. The greenback fell versus its major peers as rising stocks cut demand for the safety of U.S. assets.
“Expectations are that the vote will be passed today, albeit by a relatively close margin, and that, in the near term at least, is providing some upward momentum for the euro and riskier assets in general,” said Lee Hardman, a currency strategist at Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ Ltd. in London. “We doubt that support is likely to last.”
Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou has called on lawmakers to “do their patriotic duty” and pass the bill, as well as a vote tomorrow to authorize implementation of the austerity plan, to ensure the debt-stricken nation can receive further rescue funds.
European confidence in the economic outlook dropped to the lowest in eight months in June. An index of executive and consumer sentiment in the 17-nation euro region fell to 105.1 from 105.5 in May, the European Commission in Brussels said today. That’s the lowest since October. Economists had forecast a decline to 105.
The Swiss franc slipped versus all of its major peers after the nation’s economic barometer fell in June, adding to signs the franc’s ascent and a faltering euro-region economy may hurt economic growth.
The monthly gauge that aims to predict the economy’s direction about six months ahead dropped to 2.23 from 2.30 in May, the KOF Swiss Economic Institute in Zurich said today. The US 24 June week EIA Crude Oil Stocks numbers are due at 1430GMT.
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