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The euro strengthened against most of its major counterparts after Spain, Italy and the Netherlands sold bonds, damping concern the region’s sovereign-debt crisis is worsening. Spain’s bonds gained, pushing yields on two-year notes down 14 basis points, or 0.14 percentage point, to 3.43 percent after the nation sold 1.9 billion euros ($2.5 billion) of bills. The maximum target was 2 billion euros. Two-year Dutch note yields fell the most in almost five months as the Netherlands sold securities due in 2014 and 2037. Italy’s yields dropped after the nation sold 2.5 billion euros of zero-coupon notes.
Sterling reached a 20-month high against the euro and touched the strongest in more than five months versus the dollar before a report tomorrow that’s forecast to show U.K. gross domestic product gained 0.1 percent. It shrank 0.3 percent in the fourth quarter.
The yen dropped versus most major peers today amid bets the Bank of Japan will announce further monetary easing policies on April 27. The central bank is “committed” to monetary easing, Governor Masaaki Shirakawa said last week in New York.
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