The euro appreciated sharply vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the single currency tested offers around the US$ 1.3830 level and was supported around the US$ 1.3580 level. The common currency ascended to its highest level since 5 January as it tracked crude oil higher. NYMEX crude oil futures for July delivery reached $62.17, their front month€™s highest price since 7 January. U.S. equity markets lingered in positive territory through the session€™s midway point. Some dealers are citing an increase in investor sentiment as another reason why the pair is gaining ground. Treasury Secretary Geithner spoke today and said U.S. financial institutions have raised about US$ 48 billion since the results of the banks€™ stress tests were released last Monday. Minutes from the Federal Reserve€™s Federal Open Market Committee meeting of 28-29 April were released today and cited a worsening labour market and declining industrial production. In partial contrast, the Fed also said the pace of decline in final private demand is slowing and added the downturn in the housing market is decelerating. Notably, the Fed reported €œSome members noted that a further increase in the total amount of (Treasury) purchases might well be warranted at some point to spur a more rapid pace of recovery.€ Traders seized on this statement as an indication the Fed may be moving closer to adopting more mainstream quantitative easing steps. In eurozone news, Germany€™s Bundesbank said there will not be a €œquick, cyclical improvement€ in economic activity but suggested the global economic downturn is easing. Data released in Germany today saw April producer price inflation decline 1.4% m/m and 2.7% y/y. Euro bids are cited around the US$ 1.3435 level.