The euro depreciated marginally vis-Ã -vis the U.S. dollar today as the single currency tested bids around the US$ 1.2965 level and was capped around the US$ 1.3040 level. The common currency moved higher early in the North American session as traders continue to evaluate the growing global swine flu crisis. Dealers are also paying very close attention to the U.S. financial sector following a Wall Street Journal story the U.S. government will ask Citigroup and Bank of America to raise billions more in capital after the results of the banks€™ stress tests are released next Monday. Most of the nineteen largest banks in the U.S. are said to be well-capitalized but there will definitely be cases where the government strongly encourages the banks to raise additional capital and this expectation could hang heavily over the market for the next several days. The World Health Organization lifted its level of influenza pandemic alert to €œphase four€ from €œphase three,€ evidencing an increasing likelihood the risk of a pandemic has increased. Data released in the U.S. today saw the February S&P Case-Shiller home price index off 18.6% while Redbook retail sales were up +1.6% m/m in the first three weeks of April. Other data to be released today include April consumer confidence and the April Richmond Fed manufacturing index. In eurozone news, traders are speculating Germany€™s consumer price index may have increased in April after data from four of the country€™s regions showed higher price pressures. Also, French consumer confidence ticked up in April. Euro bids are cited around the US$ 1.2765 level.
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