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    MORNING BELL: Dollar off lows as sterling feels the heat

    The dollar clung to tenuous gains early on Monday, having staged a modest rebound late last week as sellers set their sights on sterling after disappointing UK data. Already on tenterhooks ahead of the May 7 general election, the pound was further stung by a survey showing British manufacturing growth slowed sharply in April.

    The dollar regained ground against the other major currencies on Friday after a flurry of mixed economic reports indicated that the U.S. economy may be stabilizing after a recent bout of weakness. The US Dollar Index, which measures the greenback’s strength against a trade-weighted basket of six major currencies, was last up 0.53% to 95.38 late Friday, after falling to two-month lows of 94.47 on Thursday. EUR/USD was down 0.22% to 1.1198 late Friday, still not far from two-month peaks of 1.1289. USD/JPY rose 0.64% to three-week highs of 120.13 in late trade, while GBP/USD dropped 1.39% to 1.5137.

    Gold futures settled Friday at their lowest level in six weeks, logging their third straight weekly loss as investors looked to the latest economic data to help gauge demand.



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