* Dollar firm after G7 shows little concern at Japanese
* Yen hits fresh 4-1/2-year low vs dollar
* European shares at five year highs
* Strong dollar weighs on dollar-based commodities prices
By Marc Jones
LONDON, May 13 A strong dollar hit oil and gold
prices on Monday, left German government bonds near their lowest
level in a month and kept European and Asian shares at five-year
The dollar's recent strength looked unlikely to wane after
Tokyo escaped direct criticism of its aggressive monetary easing
programme at the Group of Seven meeting over the weekend.
As it hit a 4-1/2 year high of 102.14 yen and climbed
to $1.29 to the euro, Brent oil prices slipped to
$103.16 a barrel.
"Yen selling will have been encouraged by the outcome from
the G7 meeting where officials reiterated that they will
tolerate yen weakness as long as it results from the use of
domestic instruments to stimulate the Japanese economy," said
Bank of Toyko-Mitsubishi currency analyst Lee Hardman.
The dollar's strong performance also took the shine off
gold, which typically serves as an alternative to the U.S.
currency. Spot gold fell as much as 1.5 percent to a low
of $1,426.40 an ounce.
The economic opportunities from stronger U.S. currency also
gave a European shares a boost. Already at five-year highs, the
continent's top shares on the FTSEurofirst 300 index
started the week up 0.2 percent, while London's FTSE 100
, Paris's CAC-40 and Frankfurt's DAX
gained between 0.1 and 0.2 percent.
In the bond market, benchmark German Bund futures
hovered at 144.71, near their lowest in more than a month, after
a sell-off last week on upbeat economic data in the euro zone
and the United States and the dollar's sharp rise against the