The euro gained ground vis-Ã -vis the U.S. dollar today as the single currency tested offers around the US$ 1.5895 level and was supported around the $1.5760 level. The common currency came within ten pips of establishing a new lifetime high. Dealers lifted the pair higher after it was reported the EMU-15 March inflation rate printed at 3.5%, up from Februaryâ€™s 3.3% level and significantly above the European Central Bankâ€™s 2.0% ceiling target. These data render it more difficult for the ECB to lower interest rates in the near future. Data released in the eurozone today saw the February M3 money supply up 11.3% y/y, down from 11.5% y/y. Also, the EMU-15 March economic sentiment indicator fell to 99.6 from 100.2 in February and German February wholesale sales were off 1.1% m/m and up 7.5% y/y. In U.S. news, Treasury Secretary Paulson announced a sweeping overhaul to the U.S. financial services industry today, effectively providing the Federal Reserve with significant new powers. Additionally, the Securities and Exchange Commission and the CFTC are likely to be combined under one umbrella. Fed Chairman Bernanke is scheduled to testify on Wednesday. Data released in the U.S. today saw the March Chicago Purchasing Management business barometer rise to 48.2 from 44.5 in February while the prices paid category jumped to 83.9 in March from 79.4 in February. Euro bids are cited around the US$ 1.5560 level.
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