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Wed 17 Aug 2011 11:09 AM

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Euro falls versus yen on rejected joint-bond plan

Leaders of Germany and France reject calls for joint-borrowing plan to stem region's debt crisis

Euro falls versus yen on rejected joint-bond plan
An old sign welcoming the Euro is seen on the window of a food shop near Accademia on June 22, 2011 in Venice, Italy. Eurozone finance ministers are currently seeking to find a solution to Greeces pressing debt problems, including the prospect of the countrys inability to meet its financial obligations unless it gets a fresh, multi-billion Euro loan by July 1. Greeces increasing tilt towards bankruptcy is rattling worldwide financial markets, and leading economists warn that bankruptcy would endanger the stability of the Euro and have dire global consequences. (Getty Images)

The euro declined against the yen for a second day after the leaders of Germany and France rejected calls for a joint-borrowing plan to stem the region’s debt crisis and amid signs growth is slowing.

The 17-nation currency held yesterday’s loss against the dollar before data today forecast to show European inflation slowed in July. The dollar depreciated against the yen before reports this week that may signal US price pressures are easing. The Swiss franc fell against all its major counterparts.

“European leaders haven’t addressed the underlying problem of deficits in the individual countries, and the exposure for banks and the crisis is set to bubble on,” said Derek Mumford, a Sydney-based director at Rochford Capital, a foreign-exchange and rates risk management firm. “Everything that’s going on in Europe would make it the sickest one at the moment. The euro is possibly at the top end of its range.”

The euro weakened to 110.49 yen as of 6:27 am in London after slipping 0.3 percent to 110.65 in New York yesterday. It traded at $1.4405 from $1.4407 yesterday, when it lost 0.3 percent. The dollar slipped to 76.70 yen from 76.80. The Swiss franc slid 0.5 percent against the euro and greenback.

German chancellor Angela Merkel and French president Nicolas Sarkozy rebuffed a proposed euro-area bond plan, as well as an expansion of the region’s 440 billion-euro ($632bn) rescue fund. A plan to resubmit a proposal for a financial- transaction tax, which the European Union rejected in 2010, sent stocks lower in the US and Asia.

The MSCI Asia Pacific Index of regional shares declined as much as 0.5 percent today before climbing 0.4 percent. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index lost 1 percent yesterday.

The rejection of both euro bonds and an expansion of the bailout fund coupled with discussion of a transaction tax “could weigh on European equity and bond markets,” BNP Paribas SA strategists including Ray Attrill in New York wrote in a note to clients. The tax plan “could fall flat, but the uncertainty factor will likely linger and weigh on the euro.”

European consumer prices fell 0.6 percent in July after flat readings for May and June, according to the median estimate in a Bloomberg News survey of economists before data from the EU’s statistics office today.

Annual inflation in the region slowed to 2.5 percent from June’s 2.7 percent reading and in line with a July 29 initial estimate, the survey predicted. That would still exceed the European Central Bank’s 2 percent ceiling for an eighth month.

A Credit Suisse AG index shows traders betting that the ECB will cut its benchmark interest rate of 1.5 percent by 11 basis points after a report yesterday showed the euro-area economy grew 0.2 percent in the second quarter, its worst performance since emerging from the last recession in 2009.

The dollar slipped for a second day versus the yen before Labour Department data that economists said will show a 0.1 percent gain in the producer-price index for July, according to a Bloomberg News survey. The so-called core measure, which excludes volatile food and energy costs, probably increased 0.2 percent after a 0.3 percent advance in June.

A report tomorrow will show consumer prices excluding food and fuel costs climbed 0.2 percent, the smallest gain in three months, according to a separate survey.

“We have no sign of the US coming out of this slow growth period,” said Kurt Magnus, executive director of currency sales at Nomura Holdings Inc in Sydney. “That’s bearish for the US dollar.”

The dollar has slumped 6.3 percent so far this year, the worst performer among the 10 currencies tracked by Bloomberg Correlation-Weighted Indexes.

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