Euro rises against dollar to $1.3544 after G20 instills optimism

The euro rose against the dollar on Monday after the meetings by the European Central Bank and the Group of 20 world leaders last week instilled a sense of optimism in financial markets. The 16-nation euro bought $1.3544 in European morning trading, up from the $1.3481 late Friday in New York. The British pound rose to $1.4928 compared with $1.4817 while the dollar was also up against the Japanese yen, at 101.21 compared with 100.28 yen late Friday in New York. Last Thursday, the European Central Bank made a modest interest-rate cut but said it could lower the rate further if necessary. That leaves the ECB with more room to maneuver than the US Federal Reserve and the Bank of England, which already have lowered their rates to near zero. Cutting interest rates can weaken a currency as investors move funds to places where they earn better returns, but the ECB still has one of the highest interest rates among the major economies.