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Written by: Staff

TOKYO, Mar 13 (Reuters) The dollar stayed firm on Monday, hovering near a one-month high against the yen after healthy U.S.

payrolls data last week reinforced expectations the Federal Reserve will boost interest rates to at least 5 percent this year.

Traders said the market was now looking to a run of economic data due this week for further clues about the state of the U.S.

economy and the inflation outlook.

A strong reading for the February consumer price index due on Thursday could boost market views that the Fed will raise its funds rate -- now at 4.5 percent -- by 25 basis points in March and again in May, and possibly once more before the year is out, traders said.

''If strong figures come out for the CPI or economic reports from the Fed, the dollar will climb against the yen,'' said a trader at a Japanese bank. ''I think it's possible for the dollar to try 120 yen this week.'' The U.S. central bank is slated to release on Wednesday its ''Beige Book'' summary of economic conditions, while the Philadelphia Fed is due to announce its business activity index for March on Thursday.

At 0045 GMT, the dollar was little changed at 118.95 yen, in sight of the one-month high of 119.15 yen hit on electronic trading platform EBS on Friday, when the U.S. currency gained 0.7 percent.

The euro was up slightly at $1.1925. It stood at 141.95 yen a fresh one-month high.

The dollar rallied broadly on Friday after data showed non-firm payrolls rose 243,000 in February, above economists' forecasts for a gain of 210,000.

Traders said that currencies were little fazed by news that the United Arab Emirates' central bank was looking to convert up to 10 percent of it foreign exchange reserves from dollars into euros -- double the target the bank had previously set.

UAE central bank foreign reserves -- estimated at $23 billion in December -- are held almost entirely in dollars.

Reuters AD VP0748

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