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Dollar Shines Again As Growth Concerns Spook Major Rivals

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The dollar strengthened against major currencies on Monday, extending gains to a seventh straight day, amid lingering worries about the outlook for global economic growth.

The Dollar index rose to 97.12 and was seen hovering around 97.05 a little while ago, gaining about 0.43%.

The greenback rose after the British Pound Sterling plunged on weak GDP data.

According to preliminary figures from the Office For National Statistics, U.K.'s Gross domestic product grew 0.2% from the third quarter, when the economy expanded 0.6%. Economists had expected the pace of growth to halve to 0.3%.

The data showed U.K. economy grew 0.4% and in the second quarter and 0.1% in the first three months of 2018.

On a year-on-year basis, GDP rose 1.3% in the fourth quarter, which was the weakest pace since the second quarter of 2012. In the third quarter, annual growth was 1.6%. Economists had expected growth of 1.4%.

Shortly after the release of the data, the Sterling tumbled by about 0.3% against the greenback, and subsequently dropped further down to lose about 0.6%.

The pound eased to $1.2845, losing about 0.75%, before recovering some lost ground.

The dollar strengthened to $1.1275 a euro, recovering from its previous close of $1.1326.

The yen was quoting at 110.39, a dollar, gaining about 0.6%.

Against Swiss franc, the dollar was quoting at CHF 1.0041, gaining nearly 0.6%. Preliminary data from the Federal Statistical Office showed that Switzerland's headline consumer price inflation slowed for a third straight month in January.

The consumer price index rose 0.6% year-on-year after a 0.7% increase in December. The easing was in line with economists' expectations.

The focus is on U.S.-China trade talks. Preliminary level negotiations between officials of the two countries began today.

Later this week, U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, along with top officials are scheduled to be in Beijing for negotiations.

Meanwhile, traders were also weighing the possibility of another government shutdown in the U.S. after talks between Democratic and Republican lawmakers failed over the issue of immigrant detention policy.

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