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03.05.2012 17:31

American focus: euro fluctuated against the dollar

 

The euro strengthened versus the yen after European Central Bank President Mario Draghi said policy makers didn’t discuss cutting interest rates at their meeting this week. The 17-nation currency fluctuated against the dollar after Draghi said at a press conference in Barcelona there has been “significant progress” on the fiscal front. The ECB kept its main refinancing rate at a record low 1 percent, as predicted. While the ECB still expects a gradual economic recovery this year, “downside risks” prevail and the outlook has become “more uncertain,” Draghi said.

The euro fell earlier today as Spanish borrowing costs increased at a note sale. Spain auctioned 765 million euros of notes due in January 2017 at an average yield of 4.75 percent, versus 3.57 percent at a previous sale of five-year securities on Feb. 2. It auctioned three-year debt at an average rate of 4.037 percent, compared with 2.617 percent on March 1.

The yen pared losses against the dollar and euro after the Institute for Supply Management’s index of non-manufacturing industries, which account for almost 90 percent of the U.S. economy, decreased to 53.5 in April from 56 a month earlier. The Tempe, Arizona-based group’s measure was projected to decline to 55.3. Readings above 50 signal expansion. The Japanese currency fell earlier against most major counterparts after the Labor Department said initial claims for unemployment benefits in the U.S. declined by 27,000 to a one- month low of 365,000 in the week ended April 28.

New Zealand’s currency, known as the kiwi, dropped against all of its 16 most-traded counterparts after unemployment exceeded the most pessimistic forecast. The jobless rate climbed to 6.7 percent in the first quarter from a revised 6.4 percent in the previous three months, Statistics New Zealand said.

03.05.2012 18:01

European stocks close:

03.05.2012 16:51

U.S. stocks retreated

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