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The yen strengthened against most of its major peers as Europe’s fiscal crisis loomed over a second day of debt sales in Italy, supporting demand for refuge assets. Italy is scheduled to auction 9 billion euros ($11 billion) of 185-day bills today, followed by sales of five- and 10-year bonds tomorrow totaling 5.5 billion euros. The nation’s 10-year yields climbed to a five-month high of 6.34 percent on June 14, nearing the 7 percent level that spurred Greece, Ireland and Portugal to seek bailouts.
Italy sold zero-coupon notes yesterday maturing in 2014 to yield 4.712 percent, the most this year. Investors bid for 1.65 times the amount offered, the lowest bid-to-cover ratio since November.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Francois Hollande will meet today in Paris before a two-day European Union summit in Brussels. The EU summit starting tomorrow is the first meeting of European leaders since pro-bailout parties in Greece won at parliamentary elections on June 17. France and Italy are urging Germany to help end the debt crisis, now in its third year.
EUR / USD: during the Asian session the pair rose above $1.2500.
GBP / USD: during the Asian session the pair holds in range $1.5620-$1.5640.
USD / JPY: during the Asian session the pair fell to yesterday's lows.
UK data at 0830GMT sees the BBA Bank Lending Report, including Mortgage Approvals. UK data continues at 1000GMT with the monthly CBI Distributive Trades Survey for June. US data starts at 1100GMT with the weekly MBA Mortgage Application Index. Then, at 1230GMT, US durable goods orders are expected to rise 0.5% in May after a flat reading in April. US data then continues with NAR Pending Home Sales at 1400GMT and the weekly EIA Crude Oil Stocks data at 1430GMT. At 1530GMT, Chicago Federal Reserve Bank President Charles Evans begins an interview by wire service reporters.
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