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Japan Stocks Reach 15-year High

Japanese stocks rose to a fresh 15-year high on Friday and the dollar was on the front foot again on upbeat U.S. data, but continuing uncertainty over the Greek debt negotiations weighed on the euro.  U.S. weekly jobless numbers released overnight proved better than expected, diffusing some of the pressure on the dollar that followed dovish-sounding minutes from the last Federal Reserve policy meeting.

The minutes had dented expectations for an early interest rate hike by the Fed, driving U.S. debt yields and the dollar lower.  The greenback was also supported as the ebb and flow of confidence in the difficult talks between Greece and its lenders capped the euro.

The common currency was encouraged earlier on Thursday after Greece was seen to have caved in after weeks of haggling and asked for a six-month extension for its loans. But the euro’s rise fizzled after Germany snubbed the proposal, saying it was “not a substantial solution.”  Immediate focus is on the euro zone finance ministers’ meeting later on Friday and whether differences can be ironed out then.

Reuters [1]

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