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    MORNING BELL: OIL EXTENDS GAINS ON WEAKER DOLLAR

    Asian shares rebounded on Thursday as speculation the U.S. Federal Reserve might opt to not raise interest rates at all this year hammered the dollar and sparked a huge rally in oil prices. MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan gained 0.9 percent. Australia's resource-heavy index rose 1 percent and South Korea 0.5 percent.

    Early Thursday, the dollar was down at 117.94 yen having shed 1.7 percent overnight in its biggest daily drop since August. The fall wiped out all the gains from the Bank of Japan's decision to cut its rates below zero, a tit-for-tat response that only to add to market suspicions central banks were engaged in a war of competitive depreciations.  AUD/USD traded at 0.7172, up 0.10%, while USD/JPY changed hands at 118.00, up 0.11%. Against a basket of currencies, the dollar was pinned at 97.304, after shedding 1.6 percent on Wednesday. The euro was enjoying the view at $1.1092, having climbed 1.7 percent on Wednesday. The drop was a boon to commodities priced in U.S. dollars, lifting everything from copper to gold to oil.

    On the New York Mercantile Exchange, WTI crude for March delivery rose 1.07% to $32.59 a barrel following an early round of profit taking. Brent futures settled up $2.75, or 8.4 percent, at $35.47 a barrel, after rising as high as $35.11. U.S. Crude added another 20 cents in early trade on Thursday to reach $32.49, having jumped 8 percent overnight.

    Spot Gold was up at $1,141.90 an ounce having touched its strongest since Oct. 30. On the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange, gold for April delivery eased 0.06% to $1,142.40 a troy ounce. Silver for March delivery gained 0.03% to $14.675 a troy ounce, while copper for March delivery fell 0.06% to $2.100 a pound.

     

     

     


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