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The euro fell against the majority of its most-traded counterparts as Greece struggles to reach an agreement with its bondholders on cutting the nation’s debt burden. Luxembourg Prime Minister Jean-Claude Juncker said steps to tackle the debt crisis adopted at a summit on Jan. 30 were “largely insufficient.” China’s Premier Wen Jiabao said his nation supports European efforts to stabilize the 17-nation currency. China is still researching the best way to participate in the European Financial Stability Facility, Wen said at a briefing with German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Beijing.
The dollar rose before a report tomorrow that may show employers boosted payrolls in January and the jobless rate held at an almost three-year low. Applications for unemployment insurance payments in the U.S. dropped by 12,000 to 367,000 in the week ended Jan. 28, Labor Department figures showed today in Washington. Fed Chairman Ben S. Bernanke said the economy has shown signs of improvement while remaining vulnerable to shocks, and he called on lawmakers to reduce the long-term U.S. budget deficit.
The yen rose to almost a postwar high against the dollar, prompting speculation Japan will intervene. Japanese Finance Minister Jun Azumi said he “can’t overlook” speculative moves in the foreign-exchange market and is ready take “decisive” actions if necessary.
The franc weakened against all except two of its 16 major counterparts amid talk of possible intervention by the Swiss National Bank. The SNB in September said it would cap the franc at 1.20 against the euro after it reached a euro-era record 1.00749 the previous month.
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