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The euro gained the most in two weeks against the dollar as renewed optimism European leaders are taking steps to contain the region’s sovereign-debt crisis spurred appetite for risk.
The 17-nation currency rose as former European Central Bank Vice President Lucas Papademos was sworn in as prime minster of Greece and as Italy’s Senate approved a debt-cutting bill.
The euro rose versus a majority of its 16 most-traded peers as Italy’s 10-year government bond yield declined to as low as 6.43 percent, the least in four days. The rate soared on Nov. 9 to as high as 7.48 percent, exceeding the 7 percent level that led Greece, Ireland and Portugal to seek international bailouts.
Italy’s Chamber of Deputies will give final approval to the austerity legislation tomorrow and Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi will resign “a minute later,” Chamber Speaker Gianfranco Fini said. The new government may be led by former European Union Competition Commissioner Mario Monti.
Greek Finance Minister Evangelos Venizelos will remain in his post in the new coalition government headed by Papademos, which is charged with the immediate task of securing funds to avert an economic collapse. Venizelos will also be deputy premier, according to an e-mailed statement today from the press ministry in Athens.
The yen reached its highest versus the dollar since Japan intervened last month to weaken it. Finance Minister Jun Azumi of Japan said today he’s on guard against speculative yen trades while declining to comment on whether the nation has been selling the currency this month. Japan sold the yen after it reached a post-World War II high of 75.35 per dollar on Oct. 31. Barclays Plc and Tokyo- based Totan Research Co. estimate the nation sold 8 trillion yen ($103 billion) that day, based on changes in the central bank’s balance sheet.
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