By Joseph Adinolfi and Sara Sjolin, MarketWatch

NEW YORK (MarketWatch) -- The dollar was flat against most major currencies Monday as the effects of turmoil in Ukraine, Gaza and Iraq continue to buttress the price of the haven currency against the effects of weak U.S. housing starts data from last week, and doubts that the Federal Reserve will raise interest rates earlier than mid-2015.

The yen (USDJPY) reversed earlier gains against most major currencies, with the dollar buying Yen101.34, down a touch from Yen101.36 late Friday. The euro (EURJPY) also slipped against the Japanese currency, trading at Yen137.04, from Yen137.12.

The moves into currencies traditionally considered havens came as fighting continued in Gaza, with 96 Palestinians and 13 Israeli soldiers killed on Sunday.

Tension remains high between Ukraine and Russia in the wake of the shooting down of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 on Thursday, killing all 298 people on board. No one has claimed responsibility for the incident, but U.S. officials over the weekend leveled allegations at Russia of involvement in the crash.

In Ukraine on Monday, government forces tried to retake the rebel-held city of Donetsk and fighting raged near the city's railway station, according to media reports.

Simon Smith, chief economist at FxPro, said in a note that the crisis in Ukraine is the main point of focus for currency markets at the start of the week, but that for now "it seems that FX is treating this as a more isolated incident with limited global implications."

"But there is nothing to say that this may change should moresanctions against Russia be announced this week," he said.

The dollar rose slightly (USDRUB) against the ruble, with the greenback buying 35.194 rubles Monday, compared with 35.159 Friday.

Also read: Why markets shrug off Ukraine plane crash, Gaza and other flash points.

In other currency crosses, the euro (EURUSD) fell against the dollar to $1.3522 from $1.3529 on Friday. The pound (GBPUSD) also declined, trading at $1.7071, down from $1.7090.

The ICE dollar index (DXY) inched up to 80.5620 from 80.5260, while the WSJ Dollar Index advanced to 73.10 from 73.06 on Friday.

More must-reads from MarketWatch:

Small caps' slump, Ukraine fears may hold up market

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Russian stocks slide for sixth day on Ukraine tension

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(END) Dow Jones Newswires

July 21, 2014 15:19 ET (19:19 GMT)

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