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Dollar Higher Against Other Majors

February 25, 2002

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NEW YORK (AP) _ The dollar rose against the euro and the yen Monday, supported by strong economic data and a more optimistic tone on Wall Street.

Sales of existing homes rose to 6.04 million last month, a 16.2 percent jump from December’s level, the National Association of Realtors reported Monday.

Economists said the surge bodes well for consumer spending in coming months, as owners furnish their newly purchased homes.

The data helped a positive tone in the U.S. stock market, where the three major indexes all closed sharply higher.

An increased earnings outlook from General Motors and an improved rating for Sun Microsystems also contributed to investor optimism.

In late New York trading, the euro was quoted at 86.91 cents, down from 87.58 cents late Friday.

Analysts expect this week’s consumer confidence and gross domestic product data, both of which will be released for the United States and Germany, to fuel trading between the dollar and the euro.

Against the yen, the dollar made its gains overnight, finishing the Tokyo session just above 134 yen before giving a little back to end the New York session at 133.96 Japanese yen, up from 133.81 yen late Friday.

A senior Japanese Ministry of Finance official suggested on Monday that he was satisfied with the yen’s current levels.

``Foreign exchange has been stable recently,″ Haruhiko Kuroda, MOF’s vice minister for international affairs, told reporters.

Traders said his comments were notable for what he didn’t say _ that the yen’s slide reflected Japan’s economic fundamentals and was only a reversal of its earlier strength.

The dollar was quoted at 1.6978 Swiss francs, up from 1.6899, and 1.6005 Canadian dollars, down from 1.5964. The British pound fell to $1.4249 from $1.4331.

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