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The yen slumped to the lowest in more than six months against the dollar on speculation Japanese elections next month will hand power to an opposition party that advocates more aggressive monetary easing.
Japan’s currency weakened against all of its 16 most-traded counterparts on speculation the vote will favor Shinzo Abe, who called for the central bank to provide unlimited stimulus.
The dollar declined against the euro as U.S. jobless claims rose and a regional manufacturing index decreased amid the devastation left by Hurricane Sandy. The dollar weakened as applications for jobless benefits surged by 78,000 to 439,000 in the week ended Nov. 10, the most since April 2011, the Labor Department said today in Washington. Several states said the increase was due to the storm that hit the Northeastern part of the U.S. in late October.
The Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia’s general economic index decreased to minus 10.7 in November from 5.7 a month earlier. A reading of zero is the dividing line between expansion and contraction in the area covering eastern Pennsylvania, southern New Jersey and Delaware, which was hard hit by Sandy. A separate report showed the consumer-price index rose 0.1 percent, matching the median estimate of 83 economists, following a 0.6 percent gain the prior month, the Labor Department reported today in Washington.
In the euro area, data showed the economy slipped into a recession for the second time in four years. Gross domestic product in the region slipped 0.1 percent in the third quarter after a 0.2 percent decline in the previous three months, the European Union’s statistics office in Luxembourg said today. From the year-earlier period, GDP dropped 0.6 percent.
The pound fell to a 10-week low versus the dollar as data showed U.K. retail sales slid. Britain’s pound fell for a second day against the euro after data showed retail sales including fuel dropped 0.8 percent in October from September, when they gained a revised 0.5 percent. The median forecast was for a 0.1 percent decline.
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