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The euro weakened against most of its major peers as French gross domestic product grew at a slower pace than previously estimated, adding to concern the European economy is stalling. France’s GDP rose 0.3 percent from the second quarter, when it fell 0.1 percent, French statistics institute Insee in Paris said today. It had previously reported a gain o 0.4 percent. In the year, the economy expanded 1.5 percent, down from 1.7 percent in the previous quarter.
The 17-nation common currency fluctuated against the dollar as U.S. durable goods orders rose more than forecast, adding to evidence of economic growth in America and a sign of decoupling between the U.S and the euro area. Orders for U.S. durable goods jumped in November by the most in four months, data showed today, helping to offset weaker-than-forecast consumer spending. Sales of new U.S. homes rose in November to a seven-month high, adding to evidence of stabilization in the housing market. Purchases of single-family properties increased 1.6 percent to a 315,000 annual pace, figures from the Commerce Department showed today in Washington. Congress passed a two-month payroll tax cut extension eight days before its scheduled expiration after House Republicans dropped their objections under growing political pressure. European Central Bank Executive Board member Lorenzo Bini Smaghi said policy makers shouldn’t shirk from using quantitative easing if it’s needed to avoid deflation.
Canada’s currency reached to its strongest level in more than a week versus the greenback after reports showed the economic recovery gaining momentum in the U.S., the nation’s largest trading partner. The loonie, as the currency is known for the image of the waterfowl on the dollar coin, rose 0.1 percent to C$1.0188, after earlier reaching C$1.0181, the strongest level since Dec. 12.
IntercontinentalExchange Inc.’s Dollar Index, a gauge of the greenback against the currencies of six major U.S. trading partners, was little changed at 79.948.
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