China is calling for a new global currency to replace the dollar, showing a growing assertiveness on revamping the world economy ahead of next week’s London summit on the financial downturn. But the European Union’s top economic official, Commissioner Joaquin Almunia, said he didn’t foresee “major structural changes in the role the dollar plays today as a major reserve currency.”
Oil back up
Oil prices staged a late rally Tuesday, rising to near $54 a barrel after slipping earlier in the day as the dollar strengthened. Benchmark crude for May delivery gained 18 cents and settled at $53.98 a barrel. Phil Flynn, an analyst at Alaron Trading Corp., said a strong bond auction, buying promises from the U.S. Treasury and a relatively flat stock market seem to have spurred the late rally.
The government provided $80.7 million to 10 banks in the latest payments from the $700 billion financial rescue fund. The Treasury Department said it had spent $198.58 billion under a program to buy banks’ preferred stock in an effort to bolster their balance sheets.