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Dollar Stronger

MARKETSCOPE : The dollar strengthened slightly in early trading on Friday, as investors watched Hurricane Rita and China's monetary policy.

The dollar index was up 0.16 to 88.71, after Hurricane Rita was downgraded from a category 5 to a 4, in an indication that the storm will be weaker than initially expected.

Despite the general improvement, the dollar was off at 111.57 yen, after China widened the daily permitted trading band for the yuan against non-dollar currencies to 3.0% from 1.5%. The announcement comes as G7 finance ministers arrive for a Washington weekend meeting that is sure to discuss the revaluation and regime change made in July.

The euro was off at $1.2121 after news of disappointing Italian July retail sales and German regional consumer inflation that was higher than expected. The sterling was off at $1.7852.

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