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GLOBAL MARKETS-Dollar dips on cautious Bernanke, shares edge higher
July 17, 2013 / 1:26 PM / 4 years ago

GLOBAL MARKETS-Dollar dips on cautious Bernanke, shares edge higher

* European shares rebound after by BoE minutes shock, BoA
earnings
    * Bernanke's testimony starts at 1400 GMT, prepared remarks
at 1230 GMT
    * Dollar steady after coming off three-week low
    * Commodity markets in holding pattern ahead of Fed

    By Marc Jones
    LONDON, July 17 (Reuters) - The dollar dipped back towards a
three-week low and European stocks and benchmark bonds gained on
Wednesday, after the head of the Federal Reserve said plans to
scale bank U.S. monetary stimulus were not set in stone.
    "Our asset purchases depend on economic and financial
developments, but they are by no means on a pre-set course," the
U.S. central bank's chairman Ben Bernanke told a U.S. House of
Representatives committee in prepared remarks.
    The comments were broadly in line with analysts'
expectations but were enough to evoke a reaction in markets that
had become tightly positioned ahead of the release.
    U.S. Treasury yields eased three basis points to
2.52 percent. The dollar index was down 0.1 percent at
82.43, with the euro cutting earlier losses to hit a session
high of $1.31795. 
    Sterling also extended gains against the dollar to hit a
two-week high of $1.5270. Bernanke's comments followed the
surprising news that there were no calls for fresh stimulus at
Mark Carney's first meeting in charge of the Bank of England.
    "We have seen a bit of a drop in yields and euro/dollar is a
bit higher so maybe it was a little dovish. But there was never
going to be much excitement in the prepared remarks, it is
really about the question-and-answer session," said Peter de
Bruin a senior economist at Rabobank.
    "I think Bernanke will try not to come up with any new
surprises ... He has done his utmost to pour cold water on
interest rate hike expectations so I suspect a similar tone."
    Bernanke's semi-annual statement to Congress, which may be
his last if the chairman steps down when his term ends in
January, as many expect, will be followed by a lengthy
question-and-answer session with the committee's members.
    The broad FTSEurofirst 300 was up 0.8 percent at
1300 GMT having been up 0.4 percent before Bernanke's comments.
    U.S. stock futures also extended their gains, while Brent
oil gained around 30 cents to $108.30 a barrel.

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