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EURO NEARS ALL-TIME HIGH

FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) -- The euro edged closer to an all-time high against the U.S. dollar Monday, continuing a 16-month rally that has helped the fledgling currency win back respect.

Monday's euro surge above $1.17 came after U.S. Treasury Secretary John Snow said over the weekend that the dollar's fall was part of "really fairly modest realignments" in currency markets.

Markets interpreted Snow's comment at a Group of Eight meeting in France as meaning U.S. officials wouldn't step in to stop the dollar's slide.

The euro jumped to $1.1739 in European trading on Monday, then fell back to just below $1.17. The last time it was higher was Jan. 15, 1999, at $1.1749. In late New York trading, the euro was quoted at $1.1643.

The euro is back almost to where it was when it was launched on financial markets with high hopes on Jan. 1, 1999, and is now just two cents short of its all-time record of $1.1884 of Jan. 4, 1999. It's up 36 percent versus the dollar since February 2002.

Yield edges lower on Treasury bill

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The average yield for one-year Treasury bills, a popular index for making changes in adjustable rate mortgages, edged down slightly last week.

The Federal Reserve reported Monday that the yield on one-year Treasury bills dipped to 1.20 percent last week compared to 1.23 percent for the week ending May 9.

Separately, the Treasury Department announced that it had postponed its normal weekly auction of three-month and six-month Treasury bills, normally held on Monday, until Tuesday this week.

The delay was caused by maneuvering the Treasury Department was required to perform to make room for additional debt sales given that Congress has still not approved legislation to increase the current debt limit of $6.4 trillion.

Toys "R" Us posts $7 million loss

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) -- Retailer Toys "R" Us Inc. posted a slightly larger first-quarter loss as a small increase in revenues was more than offset by higher sales and administrative costs.

The country's No. 2 toy retailer reported Monday a net loss of $7 million, or 3 cents per share, for the quarter ended May 3. A year earlier, Paramus-based Toys "R" Us, which has 1,605 stores worldwide, had a net loss of $4 million, or 2 cents per share.

Excluding a $9 million after-tax adjustment for an accounting change involving vendor credits and allowances for cooperative advertising and other items, Toys "R" Us would have had net income of $2 million, or 1 cent per share. That beat by a nickel the consensus of analysts surveyed by Thomson First Call.

Revenues rose 3.6 percent to $2.17 billion, from $2.09 billion a year earlier.

Mod-Pac to buy more of its stock

Mod-Pac Corp., which last week nearly completed a 200,000-share buyback that was authorized earlier in the spring, got approval Monday to repurchase another 200,000 shares.

The Buffalo printing and packaging company's directors authorized the company, whose shares are trading for less than their book value, to buy back up to 7.4 percent of its outstanding stock.

In other business news

ConAgra Foods said Monday it is selling its Bumble Bee canned seafood business and other assets to Bumble Bee's operating management and affiliates of the private investment firm Centre Partners Management LLC. The transaction includes the Bumble Bee, Orleans, Paramount and Clover Leaf brands. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Royal Ahold NV, parent of Tops Markets, , completed the 16-million euro ($19 million) sale of its health-and-beauty chain De Tuinen to NBTY Inc. as the Dutch company sheds assets to pay off debt.

Thousands of steelworkers voted overwhelmingly on Monday in favor of a new, five-year contract with U.S. Steel Corp., clearing the way for the company's acquisition of bankrupt National Steel. The 3-to-1 approval by members of the United Steelworkers of America will mean the loss of thousands of jobs, but secures pension and benefits for many more.

Former Enron Corp. finance chief Andrew Fastow pleaded innocent Monday to new charges expanding government allegations that he masterminded schemes that lined his pockets with millions and eventually fueled the energy company's failure.

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