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The euro reached the lowest level in almost three weeks amid a growing divide over Europe’s new bailout strategy and data that showed the region’s three-year- old crisis is weighing on its economy.
Retail sales in Spain dropped 11 percent in September from a year ago, a report showed, and the nation’s central bank set up a so-called bad bank.
The dollar remained stronger versus the euro even after consumer spending in the U.S. climbed more than forecast in September as incomes grew. Household purchases, which account for about 70 percent of the economy, rose 0.8 percent, the most since February, after a 0.5 percent gain the prior month, a Commerce Department report showed today in Washington.
The euro reached its low of the day versus the dollar after the Bank of Spain’s deputy governor, Fernando Restoy, set out plans for establishing a so-called bad bank, ordered by the European Union as a condition of the rescue.
The dollar and yen strengthened amid increased demand for refuge. The U.S. securities industry canceled equity trading on all markets today as Hurricane Sandy headed toward the New York City area.
The euro touched a two-week low against the yen after German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble rejected another debt restructuring for Greece.
The 17-member common currency slid against the dollar and yen today after Schaeuble, speaking in an interview with German radio Deutschlandfunk broadcast yesterday, said it would be “a bit unrealistic” to impose more losses on private bondholders. German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s government is willing to consider a European Central Bank proposal for a buyback of Greek debt, Steffen Seibert, Merkel’s chief spokesman, said today.
Gains in the yen were limited before Bank of Japan policy makers meet tomorrow after holding off from easing policy on Oct. 5. BOJ board members are facing political pressure to ease policy as data last week showed consumer prices fell for a fifth-straight month, making the central bank’s 1 percent inflation goal elusive. All but one of 27 economists surveyed by Bloomberg expect officials to increase stimulus tomorrow.
The pound weakened against the dollar after a report showed that house prices in England and Wales fell in October, noting the fourth consecutive decline. It is learned that house prices fell by 0.1% in September and 0.4% from a year earlier. At the same time, other data showed that the number of mortgage approvals rose to 50,000 last month from 47,700 in August, but it has not helped the currency recover their lost ground.
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