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The dollar gained to a 15-month high versus the euro as U.S. employers added more jobs than forecast and investors speculated Europe’s debt crisis is worsening. The greenback headed for its fifth weekly advance versus the euro in what would be its longest winning streak since February 2010 amid optimism the U.S. economic recovery is gaining momentum. The Dollar Index, which IntercontinentalExchange Inc. uses to track the greenback against the currencies of six major U.S. trading partners, rose 0.4 percent to 81.228. U.S. nonfarm payrolls increased by 200,000 jobs last month, following a revised 100,000 gain in November that was smaller than initially estimated, Labor Department figures showed in Washington. The unemployment rate unexpectedly fell to 8.5 percent, the lowest since February 2009, from 8.7 percent.
The 17-nation European currency fell to an 11- year low against the yen. It’s the worst week for Europe’s common currency in four months. Europe’s shared currency lost 5.1 percent versus the dollar over the past month and dropped 5.9 percent against the yen as investors sought refuge amid Europe’s sovereign-debt turmoil.
The yen erased losses versus the dollar after Federal Reserve Bank of New York President William Dudley called on the U.S. government to try new programs to revive the housing market and said the central bank may still consider ways to spur growth. The Fed purchased $2.3 trillion of Treasury and mortgage- related bonds from 2008 through June 2011 in two rounds of quantitative easing to support the economy.
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