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The euro strengthened from a seven- week low against the yen as Spain’s bonds climbed after a board member of the European Central Bank indicated it may buy the nation’s debt to reduce borrowing costs. Europe’s shared currency gained versus the dollar after Italy sold 11 billion euros ($14.4 billion) of bills, meeting the target for the auction. The yield on Spain’s 10-year bond fell from the highest since Dec. 12 today. The rate has jumped almost 1 percentage point since March 2, when Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy said the country would miss its 2012 deficit goal approved by the European Union. Italian 10-year yields fell 15 basis points, or 0.158 percentage point, to 5.54 percent after touching 5.73 percent, the highest level since Feb. 16.
The yen weakened against all but one of its 16 most-traded peers amid speculation the Bank of Japan will add to monetary easing later this month.
Britain’s pound strengthened after a report showed U.K. retail sales rose in March. It advanced 0.3 percent to $1.5903, and climbed as much as 0.5 percent, the most since March 30. Retail sales at U.K. stores open at least 12 months, measured by value, gained 1.3 percent from a year earlier, after sliding 0.3 percent in February, the London-based British Retail Consortium said today.
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