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    MORNING BELL: Dollar up after Fed's Lockhart supports rate hike

    The dollar stood tall against the yen and euro early on Wednesday after Atlanta Federal Reserve President Dennis Lockhart expressed his support for an interest rate hike in September. The dollar was at 124.29 yen after pulling away from an overnight low of 123.80. The euro was steady at $1.0892 after sliding to a two-week low of $1.0879.

    Asian stock markets got off to a watchful start on Wednesday as the mounting risks of a hike in U.S. interest rates as early as next month lifted the dollar and sovereign bond yields, pressuring currencies across the region.

    Benchmark Brent crude oil prices inched up just above a key support level of $50 on Wednesday, recovering from multi-month lows, as investors await U.S. oil inventories data to gauge supply.

    Gold steadied not far from a 5.5-year low early on Wednesday after comments from a Federal Reserve official backed investor expectations that the U.S. central bank would hike interest rates as early as next month.










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