Euro higher, Yen falls

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NYSE Reuters. Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange in this file picture.

New York - The euro surged against the dollar Friday, topping the $1.30 level before giving back most of the ground to end only slightly higher.

At $1.2982 at around 2300 GMT, it was still the European currency's best level in five weeks, finishing up from $1.2978 late Thursday.

There was little news to provoke any firm moves, and analysts said the euro could move lower next week as the Greek bond buyback program opens and the European Central Bank sees more room from a lower inflation rate to ease monetary policy.

“With five major central bank interest rate decisions on the docket for the following week, the European Central Bank may have the largest impact on the currency market as headlines surrounding the debt crisis continue to drag on investor confidence,” said David Song of DailyFX.

“As the EU prepares to release the details of the Greek bond buyback program, there's speculation that the ECB will provide further monetary assistance to alleviate the downside risks for the economy.”

In addition, he added, with inflation on a trajectory to fall below 2.0 percent, “the central bank may show a greater willingness to lower the benchmark interest rate further.”

The Japanese government's pre-election announcement of a new 880-billion-yen ($10.7 billion) stimulus package sent the yen lower.

The euro pushed to 107.07 yen from 106.58 yen, and the dollar gained to 82.48 yen from 82.10.

In other currencies, the dollar gained slightly to 0.9280 Swiss francs, and the British pound slipped to $1.6015, from $1.6043 Thursday. - Sapa-AFP

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