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    MORNING BELL: Euro rose above $1.10

    The U.S. dollar fell against a basket of major currencies on Wednesday after weaker-than-expected U.S. economic data combined with a robust survey of German business morale to drive more unwinding of bullish dollar bets. The euro rose above $1.10 for a second straight session after the Commerce Department said non-defense capital goods orders excluding aircraft dropped 1.4% last month after a 0.1% dip in January. The report gave investors further reason to sell dollars after a long rally in the greenback that some analysts say was overdone. The dollar was last down 0.2% against the Japanese yen at 119.495 yen . The dollar was up 0.26% against the Swiss franc at 0.96070 franc.

    Sterling fell against the euro on Wednesday, hitting a one-month low as investors pushed back expectations of interest rate hikes amid growing talk that inflation in Britain will stay low for some time to come. Annual inflation in Britain dropped to zero in February and investors are factoring in the chance of a first rate hike in mid-2016, having pushed it back from early 2016 last week. The pound was down 0.1% to 73.66 pence per euro, and against the dollar it was up 0.4% at $1.4900.

    Gold hit 2.5-week highs on Wednesday, rising for the sixth straight session as upbeat German sentiment data helped drive the euro higher against the dollar, and as expectations for an imminent U.S. interest rate rise receded. Spot gold was up 0.3% at $1,196.35 an ounce by 2:52 p.m. EDT (1852 GMT), having earlier touched its highest since March 6 at $1,199.70. U.S. gold futures for April delivery settled up $5.60 an ounce, or by 0.5%, at $1,197.



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