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Dollar rises to 7-month high against Japanese yen

NEW YORK (AP) -- The dollar rose to a seven-month high against the Japanese yen, a week after the Bank of Japan announced a surprise increase of its economic stimulus program.

The dollar rose to 80.24 Japanese yen late Wednesday from 79.71 yen late Tuesday. The dollar rose as high as 80.40 yen, its highest point against the yen since July 11.

The Bank of Japan said on Feb. 14 that it would buy more government bonds while keeping short-term interest rates close to zero to boost the country's economy.

The yen has been falling against the dollar ever since the announcement.

In Europe, a downgrade of Greece's sovereign debt by ratings agency Fitch didn't hurt the euro. It remained unchanged at $1.3244 Wednesday.

Greece's finance minister said Wednesday that the country's new $172 billion bailout, which was approved by other countries that use the euro on Tuesday, means Greece will not leave the euro and will not default on its debt.

Greece was in danger of defaulting on its debt next month if it didn't get the new bailout cash. A default could have triggered another financial crisis.

In other trading, the British pound fell to $1.5671 from $1.5786. The dollar fell to 0.9109 Swiss franc from 0.9120 Swiss franc. The dollar rose to 99.95 Canadian cents from 99.65 Canadian cents.