The U.S. dollar was mostly lower Thursday. The euro was the strongest of the majors, gaining across the board. The week's high was set on Monday just below $1.24 and unless this is taken out it simply seems like range trading.

Concerns that the world economy is losing momentum continues to rival the European debt crisis as a key factor discouraging risk-taking. Although the June purchasing managers' surveys were generally softer than May, the drop in China's weighed particularly on sentiment. The stronger-than-expected Japanese Tankan survey failed to offset the deterioration in sentiment.

Global equity markets continued their trek lower Thursday. The MSCI Asia Pacific Index slid 1.4%, its biggest decline in three weeks. The Nikkei fell for the sixth consecutive session and its 2% loss was the largest in the region. Telecom and technology led the way lower. The softer PMI (52.1 from 53.9 in May and expectations for 53.2) helped the Shanghai Composite extend its losing streak to seven sessions and new lows since April 2009 were recorded Thursday.

European bourses were down between 1% to 2% Thursday. Financials were the weakest sector amid the broad based declines.

Spain's five-year bond auction, a day after Moody's put the sovereign's credit on watch for a possible downgrade, was successful even if not spectacular. France sold 10-year government bonds Thursday at a record low yield. All told, France sold three different tenors and raised 7.45 bln euros and only the long dated 16-year Oat did not generate a bid-cover ratio in excess of 3:1. Most peripheral European bond markets were trading firmly, allowing for a small narrowing of rate differentials.
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