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Today the dollar strengthened against a basket of rival currencies on concerns about the euro-zone debt crisis and the lack of agreement on raising the U.S. debt ceiling.
The market players focus on U.S. debt ceiling talks. If the debt ceiling isn’t raised from the current $14.3 trillion by August 2, the country would face technical default.
Early Monday the rating agency Moody's suggested the US debt ceiling itself should be eliminated to bring greater stability and avoid "periodic uncertainty."
The global debt concerns overshadowed the latest corporate reports, which have been generally better than expected.
The euro fell versus major rivals. Today Italy 10-year yield rose to 6.02% - highest since November 1997. Spanish bond yields also surged euro-lifetime highs.
Also analysts determined last week’s stress test of banks in Europe was fairly relaxed, stoking continued concerns about European debt.
Late Friday the European Banking Authority’s long-awaited stress tests showed that 8 banks failed and will need 2.5 billion euros ($3.5 billion) to survive a serious downturn. 16 other lenders passed, but should raise more money.
European sovereign fears, combined with wrangling over raising the debt ceiling, have boosted safe havens.
The franc reached a new record high versus the dollar on demand for safety after ECB President Jean-Claude Trichet noted again his opposition to any restructuring of Greek debt.
Today the gold reached a new historical high at $1.603.80. Investors see gold as the best place to park their money when there's economic or political uncertainty.
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