Dollar widened its gains modestly in European trade on Monday on firm prospects for a Federal Reserve rate hike in the bank's periodic meeting on March 14-15, with the index up nearly 0.30% from the open to trade at 101.63.
Most currencies lost ground versus the dollar, with the euro shedding 0.38% to 1.0581, on concerns about France's presidential elections and Greece's debt issues, while sterling fell 0.36% to 1.2261, with the pound facing a perfect storm of Brexit jitters and Scottish calls for independence from the United Kingdom, keeping pressure on the currency for the foreseeable future.
Safe havens held on to their gains as the political climate in East Asia roils up, with gold futures up five dollars, or 0.39% to trade at $1,2231 an ounce, while silver futures advanced 11 cents, or 0.61% to hover around $17.85 an ounce.
Oil prices sharpened their losses on the other hand on U.S. oversupply worries, and as Russia shrugs off its quota from the OPEC deal to cut output, with Brent oil sliding 40 cents, or 0.73% to trade at $55.49 a barrel, while U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) futures lost 37 cents, or 0.70% to hover around $52.97 a barrel.
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