* Dollar firm after G7 shows little concern at Japanese easing
* 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 (Reuters) - 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 highs.
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 yen.