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Morning briefing: Dollar strengthens, European markets muted

1. The Japanese yen weakened on speculation that the country will take measures to temper gains. Japanese Finance Minister Yoshihiko Noda said Thursday that the government will "respond appropriately" to a surge in the yen that sent it to a 15-year high against the dollar on Wednesday. After falling to 84.71 yen, the dollar climbed back up to 85.70 in late trading in Tokyo.

2. Greece's recession deepened as the economy shrank by 1.5 percent in the second quarter of 2010 compared to the first quarter because of "significant reduction in public consumption." As the country struggles to emerge from a severe debt crisis, the government statistics office reported that the unemployment rate had inched up to 12 percent in May, from April's 11.9 percent.

3. India's industrial production fell to a 13-month low in June as a government stimulus began to wind down.

4. Oil prices retreated for a third day in New York, adding to signs that economic growth is slowing in the United States, which is the world's biggest consumer of crude.

5. After sharp drops in world markets Wednesday, European markets were steady, but South Korea's Kospi fell 2.1 percent, Japan's Nikkei was down 0.9 percent and Hong Kong's Hang Seng dropped 0.9 percent.

By Ariana Eunjung Cha  |  August 12, 2010; 7:45 AM ET
Categories:  *Morning briefing  
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