The euro is staking its claim as an alternative to the dollar on concern that the world's largest economy is destined to suffer fiscal upheavals every few months.

Europe's common currency, which as recently as July 2012 was in jeopardy of breaking up as the region's sovereign-debt crisis heated up, is increasingly acting like a haven. It's this year's best performer among a basket of 10 developed-market currencies, and its correlation to the 20 most-traded emerging-market currencies has tumbled more than 40 percent, to the lowest level since 2003, data compiled by Bloomberg show.

President Barack Obama said the 16-day federal government shutdown in the U.S. this month "inflicted completely unnecessary damage" on the economy, while a last-minute deal in Congress to temporarily lift the debt ceiling concentrated attention on the next fiscal hurdle in December. The 17-nation euro area, which includes Greece, looks calm by comparison.

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