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    MORNING BELL: US NFP - Greece on hold

    The dollar stayed bid early in Asia on Thursday, as the market geared up for a deluge of U.S. data that could back expectations for the Federal Reserve to lift interest rates sooner rather than later. USD was up 0.72% against EUR and the greenback gained 0.51% against JPY. Later today, investors will be fed a heavy diet of U.S. data from durable goods to nonfarm payrolls ahead of a holiday on Friday. As a preview of the all-important payrolls data, the ADP National Employment Report on Wednesday showed private employers added 237,000 jobs in June, in a further sign of labour market strength that may allow the Federal Reserve to raise U.S. interest rates later this year. As for the unemployment rate, also to be released on Thursday, the consensus estimate is 5.4%.

    The euro remained under a cloud with Greece's debt crisis unlikely to be resolved before Sunday's referendum. Eurozone FinMin piled pressure on Greek voters and their government on Wednesday, by warning that negotiations on a new bailout would depend on the result of Sunday's referendum on previous EU credit terms. "We will come back to your request for financial stability support from the ESM only after and on the basis of the outcome of the referendum," Jeroen Dijsselbloem, chairman of the Eurogroup, wrote to the Greek PM. On Wednesday, Tsipras urged Greeks to reject an international bailout deal, souring hopes of any breakthrough. 

    Sterling slipped to a two-week low on Wednesday as the dollar rallied on strong U.S. jobs figures and after data showed British manufacturing growth slowed unexpectedly in June. On Wednesday BoE chief Mark Carney said the central bank stood ready to take any action required in response to Greece's worsening debt crisis and any possible market contagion.

    Crude inventories rose 2.4 million barrels to 465.4 million in the week to June 26, compared with analysts' expectations for a decrease of 2 million barrels. Gold languished below $1,170 an ounce on Thursday, with USD stronger on the Greek debt crisis and bullion investors waiting for key U.S. economic data later in the session for cues.




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