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The euro fell to a record versus the Swiss franc and slid the most in almost a week against the dollar on concern European leaders will fail to agree on a way to contain the region’s debt crisis at a summit this week.
The franc also reached an all-time high versus the dollar after European Central Bank President Jean-Claude Trichet repeated his opposition to any restructuring of Greek debt. The yen strengthened against all but one of its 16 major peers tracked by Bloomberg and gold rose to a record, while stocks declined as investors sought the safest assets. Sweden’s krona dropped on speculation Europe’s debt crisis will crimp growth.
“The comments over the weekend still create uncertainty,” said Marcus Hettinger, a foreign-exchange strategist at Credit Suisse Group AG in Zurich. “We have risk aversion in the debt markets before the meeting and that’s pushing the Swiss franc higher and the euro lower.”
Immediate-delivery gold gained as much as $8.50, or 0.5 percent, to $1,602.05 an ounce.
Italian 10-year bond yields rose 25 basis points to 6.0 percent today, approaching the 6.02 percent euro-era record reached last week. Moody’s Investors Service said in a weekly report that Italy’s austerity measures are “a credit negative” for regional and local governments.
“A decision on another Greek package seems no nearer,” Adrian Schmidt, a currency strategist at Lloyds Banking Group Plc in London, wrote in an investor report. “The risks are for more weakness in peripheral bond markets and the euro being needed to concentrate politicians’ minds and force a decision.”
European stocks fell for a third day and a gauge of European banks reached a two-year low as analysts warned that as many as 20 lenders may need to bolster capital following European stress tests. The Stoxx Europe 600 Index declined 1.1 percent, with banks dropping 1.7 percent.
Euribor futures rose, pushing the implied yield on the contract expiring in March 2012 down three basis points to 1.66 percent as investors trimmed bets on higher ECB interest rates.
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