Dollar reaches 2-week high vs. yen on employment

Falling Euro

The euro has lost 2.6 percent this year, the second-worst performer among the 10 developed-market currencies tracked by Bloomberg Correlation-Weighted Indexes. The yen slid 9.7 percent and the dollar fell 2.1 percent.

A majority of ECB policy makers were open to cutting the benchmark rate yesterday and there is a possibility of a reduction early next year, three officials with knowledge of the Governing Council’s deliberations said.

The central bank held its benchmark at a record low of 0.75 percent yesterday and kept the deposit rate at zero.

The Frankfurt-based Bundesbank cut its growth projection for 2013 to 0.4 percent from the 1.6 percent predicted in June and said the economy.

Sweden’s krona fell against all its major counterparts, weakening 0.1 percent against the euro to 8.6111, and falling 0.5 percent versus the dollar to 6.6678.

Dollar Index

The Dollar Index, which IntercontinentalExchange Inc. uses to track the greenback against currencies of six U.S. trading partners, rose 0.3 percent to 80.525, touching the strongest since Nov. 23.

U.S. employment climbed by 146,000 following a revised 138,000 gain in October that was less than initially estimated, Labor Department figures showed today in Washington. The median estimate of 91 economists surveyed by Bloomberg called for a gain of 85,000. The jobless rate fell to 7.7 percent from 7.9 percent.

The Fed is working to boost the economy and reduce unemployment by continuing purchases of housing debt that have helped drive borrowing costs to an all-time low. The policy- setting Federal Open Market Committee’s last meeting of this year is scheduled for Dec. 11-12 in Washington.

The yen strengthened earlier against the dollar after a magnitude 7.3 earthquake struck Japan, mirroring movements in the currency after a record temblor in March 2011. The Japanese currency gained as much as 0.3 percent to 82.18.

In 2011 the yen surged to a record level in the days following the quake and the tsunami that led to meltdowns at a nuclear plant in Fukushima. A tsunami alert was issued for northeast Japan after the quake shook buildings in Tokyo today.

Bloomberg News

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