Sun, Aug 05, 2012 - Page 15 News List

US dollar falls against major currencies


The US dollar fell against most of its major counterparts as risk appetite increased amid continued speculation that central banks might take further steps to boost economic growth.

The euro rose versus the greenback for a second week, the longest stretch since June, as members of German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s coalition signaled they would not block European Central Bank (ECB) President Mario Draghi’s plan to buy government bonds. Stocks rallied as US employers added more jobs than forecast even as the unemployment rate rose to a five-month high. US Federal Reserve President Ben Bernanke could discuss policy options in an Aug. 31 speech in Jackson Hole, Wyoming.

The dollar fell 0.5 percent to US$1.2387 per euro this week in New York, after losing 1.3 percent in the five days that ended on July 27. The yen depreciated 0.5 percent to ¥97.19 per euro in its second weekly loss. The Japanese currency was little changed at ¥78.47 to the dollar.

The Dollar Index, which Intercontinental Exchange Inc uses to track the greenback against the currencies of six major US trade partners including the euro and the yen, fell 0.4 percent to 82.375. It dropped as much as 1.3 percent on Friday, the biggest intraday decrease since June 29.

The greenback lost 0.7 percent this week versus nine developed-nation counterparts tracked by the Bloomberg Correlation-Weighted Indexes. The euro was little changed, while Sweden’s krona was the best performer, rising 2 percent.

Sterling was the worst performer, declining 0.7 percent to US$1.5640.

The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index rallied as much as 2 percent on Friday, rising for the first time in five days and erasing a weekly loss.

The greenback fell against most major peers yesterday as stocks climbed after US Department of Labor figures showed US payrolls added 163,000 jobs last month. That followed a revised 64,000 increase the previous month that was less than initially reported. The median estimate of 89 economists surveyed by Bloomberg News called for a gain of 100,000. The unemployment rate rose to 8.3 percent, from 8.2 percent.

While Fed policymakers refrained at a meeting that ended on Wednesday from taking further steps to stimulate the world’s largest economy, they said in a statement they would provide additional accommodation as needed amid a slowing economy..

Bernanke is scheduled to speak at the Fed Bank of Kansas City’s conference in Jackson Hole at the end of the month. His speech at the event in 2010 set the stage for a second round of asset purchases.

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