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Dollar firms as US consumers grow more confident

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The dollar gained further ground against the euro Tuesday as traders weighed an upbeat report on American consumer confidence and tense Greek bailout talks.

[NEW YORK] The dollar gained further ground against the euro Tuesday as traders weighed an upbeat report on American consumer confidence and tense Greek bailout talks.

The Conference Board's March consumer confidence report came in better than expected, solidly rebounding from a slump in February. Americans were more optimistic about conditions in the world's largest economy in the coming months, particularly about jobs availability and wage growth.

The confidence report came ahead of Friday's US March jobs report.

"Another strong month of hiring in excess of 200,000 (net new jobs) would reinforce an outlook of higher US interest rates and buoy the greenback," said Joe Manimbo, an analyst at Western Union Business Solutions.

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Traders followed the tortuous talks between Greece and its creditors on a disputed list of reforms presented by Athens in hopes of unblocking 7.2 billion euros (S$10.61 billion) in loans to stave off a possible debt default and eurozone exit.

EU Council President Donald Tusk said Tuesday that the negotiations were "complex", and a late April deadline agreed between Greece and its EU-IMF creditors was still within reach.

"I hope we will reach an agreement by the end of April, for me it is possible," Mr Tusk said.

AFP

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