Euro declines most in 2012 on deepening turmoil in Spain, Greece

Currency falls for a fifth week

Aussie, Kiwi

Australia’s dollar fell 0.9 percent to 97.58 U.S. cents. The Aussie fell to 96.90 U.S. cents on May 23, a six-month low.

New Zealand’s dollar declined 0.3 percent to 75.40 U.S. cents and touched 74.57 U.S. cents, the weakest since November. The so-called kiwi’s losses were limited as Moody’s cited the government’s deficit and debt trajectories in affirming its AAA rating.

China is Australia’s largest trading partner and is the second-biggest destination for New Zealand exports.

American employers added 150,000 jobs in May, according to the median estimate of economists surveyed by Bloomberg News, after a 115,000 gain in April that missed forecasts. The jobless rate held steady at 8.1 percent, according to another survey.

The Dollar Index rose 1.3 percent to 82.393, after touching 82.461, the strongest since September 2010. The gauge’s fourth consecutive weekly gain comes as cumulative net inflows in to U.S. Treasuries yesterday were more than double the daily average over the past year.

Franc Tumbles

The Swiss franc was the biggest loser against the dollar this week, falling 2.1 percent to 95.95 centimes per dollar. It was the biggest weekly loss since Nov. 4. Switzerland’s currency touched the weakest level in two months versus the euro on May 24 amid speculation the central bank may take action to discourage investment in the nation through taxing deposits.

SNB spokeswoman Silvia Oppliger declined to comment on the Swiss franc exchange rate. Finance Ministry spokesman Roland Meier wouldn’t comment on the tax speculation.

Brazil’s real rose 1.8 percent against the dollar to 1.9874 after the central bank sold currency swaps through auction for four consecutive days to stem the largest year-to-date decline against the greenback. The real is the worst performing major currency this year and has declined 6.1 percent against the dollar. It touched a three-year low on May 18.

The nation also completely removed a tax on currency derivatives for exporters on May 23, said Alexandre Andrade, an official at the tax agency.

The yen had its biggest weekly decline against the dollar since March 16 as Fitch Ratings cut the nation’s credit ranking, saying it isn’t acting quickly enough to tackle its public-debt burden.

Losses were limited as the BOJ kept its asset-purchase fund at 40 trillion yen ($502 billion) at a meeting May 23, after expanding it by 10 trillion yen last month. The central bank also left a credit-lending program at 30 trillion yen, it said in a statement in Tokyo. The policy board kept the key overnight lending rate between zero and 0.1 percent.

Bloomberg News

--With assistance from Emma Charlton in London. Editors: Kenneth Pringle, Greg Storey

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