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    MORNING BELL: Dollar remains strong - concerns over euro

    The US dollar hovered at 2-month highs vs the Japanese yen and stood firm against other peers, after surging on a higher-than-expected U.S. Core Consumer Price Index that supported the Federal Reserve's case for a rate hike later this year. On Friday, markets await the second reading of the US GDP growth; Wall Street economists expect Q1 GDP to downgrade, reflecting a 0.9% contraction.

    The euro was down 0.3%, having touched a 1-month low earlier in the session. The common currency reached a 3-month peak of $1.1468 as recently as May 15, along with a surge in euro zone bond yields and lessened pessimism towards the European economy. But it has since sank on factors including prospects of more easing by the ECB, persisting Greek debt woes and revived demand for the US dollar.

    The British pound was little changed after shedding overnight against the USD. On Wednesday, David Cameron’s government will set forth its policies and proposed legislation; an EU membership referendum, income tax, immigration and employment are among the top priorities for the Conservatives.

    Crude oil futures edged up on Monday, buoyed by healthy Asian appetite and demand from the US driving season. “Global oil demand continues to surprise to the upside, with April data showing no signs of slowdown despite a pick-up in prices," Energy Aspects said.




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