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Euro Weakens Versus Dollar, Yen as Europe’s Debt Crisis Offsets U.S. Data

The 17-nation currency weakened earlier against most major peers after France sold 7.96 billion euros ($10.3 billion) of debt today in its first auction of the year as credit-rating companies threaten to cut the nation’s top AAA ranking. The yuan dropped after China’s central bank lowered the daily reference rate by the most since November.

“The worries that are going on in Europe could trump all of the better data we’ve been getting out of the U.S. in terms of risk sentiment,” said David Mann, regional head of research for the Americas at Standard Chartered Plc. in New York.

The euro fell 0.6 percent to 98.73 yen at 8:53 a.m. New York time, after reaching 98.48 yen, its weakest level since December 2000. It tumbled 0.9 percent to $1.2827 and touched $1.2803, the least since Sept. 13, 2010. The dollar appreciated 0.4 percent to 76.99 yen.

U.S. companies added 325,000 workers in December, exceeding the highest projection in a Bloomberg News survey and following a revised 204,000 gain the prior month, the report from Roseland, New Jersey-based ADP showed. The median estimate in a Bloomberg News survey called for an advance of 178,000.

Applications for jobless benefits in the U.S. decreased 15,000 in the week ended Dec. 31 to 372,000, Labor Department figures showed today. The median estimate of 38 economists in Bloomberg poll forecast 375,000 claims.


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