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    MORNING BELL: Nasdaq ends at record high; Greek banks to open

    Wall Street's Nasdaq stock index ended at a record high on Friday, on a rally in Google shares. Google surged 16.26 percent to end at an all-time high of $699.62, pushing the Nasdaq to a second straight record high. Meanwhile, as weak energy stocks and disappointing corporate results from companies such as Boeing and Volvo hit other European and U.S. indexes, the dollar rallied on strong U.S. inflation and housing data. 

    Greek banks are ready to open their branches across the country on Monday after a three-week shutdown, officials said, while German Chancellor Angela Merkel called for swift aid talks, so Athens could also lift withdrawal limits. The euro held stronger in early Asia on Monday with Greek banks slated to open under some restrictions on withdrawals. Meanwhile, markets in Japan are closed and no major data is due. EUR/USD traded at 1.0838, up 0.06%, while AUD/USD changed hands at 0.7376, up 0.06%. USD/JPY was quoted at 124.11, up 0.04%. The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback’s strength against a trade-weighted basket of six major currencies, eased 0.04%, to 98.06.

    China stocks seem to have pulled out of their recent dive amid a barrage of measures from regulators and buying by brokerages and mutual funds. The CSI300 index of the largest listed companies in Shanghai and Shenzhen rose 1.1 percent last week, while the Shanghai Composite Index gained 2.1 percent.

    In commodity markets, gold prices have been weighed by a combination of a strong U.S. dollar and an absence of inflationary pressures across the globe. The precious metal touched a new low around $1,130.23 an ounce on Monday having put in its worst weekly performance since March last week. Oil has fared no better, burdened by the prospect of increased exports from Iran now that a deal has been struck to ease sanctions on the country. Brent crude was off 9 cents early Monday at $57.01 a barrel, while U.S. crude fell 5 cents to $50.84.

     

     


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