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Weak dollar gets boost from Europe's debt problems

Weak dollar: The dollar, like the yen and Swiss franc, often gains when weak economic figures triggers investor worries about the global recovery or when geopolitical tensions make traders cautious.

Richard Drew/AP
Specialist Ned Zelles, center, works at his post on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange on May 12.

Europe's debt problems are giving the U.S. currency a boost.

The dollar, like the yen and Swiss franc, often gains when weak economic figures triggers investor worries about the global recovery or when geopolitical tensions make traders cautious.

Reports on consumer spending and jobs in the U.S. paint a mixed picture Thursday. The labor market is improving, but not enough to suggest sustainable job growth. Shoppers are spending more, but mostly on gas and food.

In midday trading in New York, the dollar was gaining against the euro and British pound but it is weaker versus the Japanese yen.

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