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Quick Hits: End of Dollar Doldrums?


Brief scrutiny of today's headlines.

The dollar climbed to its highest level in a year against the euro on the belief that economic growth in the US will outpace Europe.

The dollar rose about 0.3%, to $1.3959 per euro early Thursday.

Growth in the Eurozone is expected to slow to 1.1% in 2009, as compared to 2.7% in 2007, while growth in the US is expected to remain steady at 1.5% in 2008 and 2009.

In response, analysts expect the European Central Bank to cut interest rates by a quarter percentage point, to 4%, in the first quarter of 2009. In September 2007, the US central bank started slashing its target rate from 5.25% to 2% in an effort to avoid a recession.

Meanwhile, the yen rose to a one-year high against the euro, climbing 1.3% to 148.74. The yen gained 1.1% to 106.57 per dollar.

The Australian dollar fell to its lowest against the US dollar since August 2007 as the prices of raw materials fell, tracking the global slowdown. Raw materials account for about 60% of Australia's exports.

In the US, the unemployment rate rose to 6.1% in August from 5.7% as employment fell in manufacturing. The number of unemployed persons rose by 592,000 to 9.4 million in August. However, mining and healthcare continued to add jobs.

The number of multiple jobholders increased by 298,000 in August to 8.1 million and now account for 5.5% of the total number of employed persons, the US Bureau of Labor Statistics reported.
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