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RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - The Euro was the most widely used currency for global payments last month, the first time it passed the dollar since February 2013.

Data from the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (SWIFT), which coordinates international payment messages for over 11,000 financial institutions in 200 countries, showed that the European Union's single currency and the dollar were followed by the pound sterling and Japanese yen. The Canadian dollar topped China's yuan and ranked fifth, according to SWIFT.

Trade barriers, recession and political dissent have renewed pressure to reduce the share of international payments . . .

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