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The dollar gained the most in two weeks versus a basket of currencies as stocks plunged on concern the global economy is slowing and speculation European banks lack sufficient capital.
The Dollar Index climbed as much as 1%, the biggest intraday jump since Aug. 4, to 74.438. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index plunged 3.9%, and the MSCI World Index dropped 4%.
Manufacturing in the Philadelphia region shrank to minus 30.7, the lowest since March 2009.
The franc rallied after the Swiss National Bank refrained yesterday from pegging it to the euro to help curb its gains.
Finance Minister Eveline Widmer-Schlumpf said yesterday she’s “concerned” about the franc’s strength and that the government supports all SNB measures to weaken the currency. The central bank has said policy makers are assessing various options, including a temporary currency euro peg.
The pound ended a five-day rally against the dollar as a report showed U.K. retail sales rose less than economists forecast, spurring speculation that more policy makers may endorse further bond purchases to support the British economy.
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