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    MORNING BELL: USDJPY 8-year highs - hopes over euro

    The US dollar hovered at 8-year highs against the yen early on Thursday, having stopped short of breaking above its 2007 peak as it consolidated recent gains against the euro and other peers.

    The dollar, however, shed some ground against euro amid tentative hopes that cash-strapped Greece may be nearing a deal to secure fresh funding. The common currency bounced off a one-month low of $1.0819 to reach $1.0905, snapping a recent string of falls. The Greek government said on Wednesday it is starting to draft an agreement with its Eurozone partners and IMF that would pave the way for aid.

    The British pound fell as much as 0.6% against USD in the aftermath of the UK's elections, after a speech by the Queen to parliament set in motion a referendum on the UK's membership in the EU by 2017. Later today, GBP could be given direction by a second reading of British GDP for Q1, which is expected to show year-on-year growth of 2.5%.

    Gold struggled to recover from a two-week low on Thursday, while Crude oil prices edged up on Thursday morning after a 2-day slide, although high U.S. stocks, strong global production, and a firm dollar, were keeping markets under pressure. The increases followed 2 days of steep falls, as a resurgent dollar weighed on the market, amid concerns that U.S. crude supplies may have started rising again after 3 weeks of draws; crude oil inventories are expected to be released at 15:00 GMT later today.




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