Sun, Apr 06, 2003 - Page 10 News List

Peace hopes help dollar strengthen against euro, yen

AP , NEW YORK

The dollar rose against its major counterparts Friday, extending gains made earlier in the week in tandem with coalition military advances in Iraq.

The dollar continued to display strength as US troops seized Baghdad's airport and optimism prevailed regarding a rapid conclusion to hostilities. Dark shadows, whether on the battlefield or US economic front, had little apparent effect on the day's trading, analysts said.

The dollar appeared to dismiss threats by Mohammed Saeed al-Sahaf, Iraq's minister of information, that forces loyal to Hussein would ``commit a non-conventional act'' against coalition forces, raising the specter of chemical or biological warfare that was later denied by al-Sahaf.

"If the US continues to make steady progress that should keep the dollar reasonably underpinned," said Monsoor Mohi-uddin, chief currency strategist with UBS Warburg in London.

Late Friday, the dollar was at ¥119.96, up from ¥119.36 late Thursday in New York. The euro was at US$1.0726, down from US$1.0755 late Thursday. Against the Swiss franc the dollar was at SF1.3870, up from SF1.3792. The British pound was at US$1.5615, down from US$1.5709 late Thursday.

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