Portugal is providing a fresh drag on the euro after it confirmed investorsÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ fears that debt stresses in the euro zone arenÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t limited to Greece.
At 0945 GMT, the euro was trading at $1.4058, down from the $1.4075 in late New York trading Tuesday.
Late Tuesday, the countryÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s finance minister said the budget deficit for 2009 was equivalent to 9.3% of gross domestic product, above the 8% expected by the European Commission.
At the presentation of the governmentÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s 2010 budget plan, Fernando Teixeira dos Santos ruled out broad-based tax hikes but promised strict cost control in an effort to bring the deficit down to 8.3% of GDP in 2010.
The deficit ratio is smaller than the 12.7% reported by Greece late last yearÃ¢â‚¬â€œa shock that has punished Greek bonds and hit the euro hard in recent weeks. Nevertheless, the news confirms that Greece isnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t alone among the 16 euro-zone nations in suffering a harsh debt hangover.
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