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29.11.2011 19:44

American focus: financial markets pressed uncertainty

The euro dropped versus the majority of its most-traded counterparts amid speculation Europe’s effort to expand its bailout fund to 1 trillion euros ($1.3 trillion) is falling short. The 17-nation currency pared gains versus the dollar after the European Central Bank failed to offset the extra liquidity created by its bond purchase program. Euro-area finance ministers are meeting today. Europe’s efforts to expand its rescue fund are flagging, forcing renewed consideration of a role for the ECB in insulating Spain and Italy from the debt crisis, two officials familiar with the discussions said. Finance ministers will have an initial discussion today on channeling ECB loans to cash-strapped euro nations through the International Monetary Fund, aiming to bring the central bank onto the front lines without violating its ban on direct lending to governments, said the people, who declined to be identified because the talks are at an early stage.

Australia’s dollar was the biggest winners versus the greenback as investors sought higher-yielding assets. Australia’s dollar rallied for a second day against the greenback, rising as much as 1.8 percent before trading at $1.0008, up 1 percent. It fell for the past four weeks. The Aussie pared its drop for November to 4.8 percent. The Aussie was the best performer against the U.S. dollar yesterday among the most-traded currencies, rising 2 percent as equities rallied worldwide.

Americans were less pessimistic on the outlook for jobs and wages this month, a report showed. The Conference Board’s index increased to 56 from a revised 40.9 reading in October in the biggest monthly gain since April 2003, figures from the New York-based private research group showed today. The Dollar Index, which IntercontinentalExchange Inc. uses to track the greenback against the currencies of six major U.S. trading partners, was down 0.3 percent to 78.985 after earlier dropping as much as 0.9 percent.

Market Focus

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  • German private sector output growth slowed for the second month running in July
  • ECB's Mersch says as conditions normalise, it is unlikely that uncoventional policies will remain necessary
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