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Wednesday May 14, 2008 - 20:34:18 GMT
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FOREX News-Yen falls broadly after tame CPI data, stocks rise

Wed May 14, 2008 4:16pm EDT

(Recasts; adds comments, updates prices, changes byline)

* Yen falls broadly as U.S. CPI data boost risk demand

* CPI rises at an unexpectedly slower pace in April

* CPI does not change views Fed on pause

By Vivianne Rodrigues

NEW YORK, May 14 (Reuters) - The yen eased broadly on Wednesday as a tame U.S. consumer inflation report for April boosted stocks and raised investor appetite for risk.

The unexpectedly slow increase in the consumer price index (CPI) briefly caused traders to sell the dollar, but analysts said it did not alter market views that the Federal Reserve's cycle of interest rate cuts was almost over.

"The market looked at it as a positive for risky assets, namely that it takes a little bit of stress off the inflation outlook and gives the Federal Reserve more flexibility in terms of the economic outlook," said Brian Dolan, chief currency strategist at in Bedminster, New Jersey.

The dollar jumped to a session high of 105.44 yen <JPY=>, with Wall Street stocks surging as inflation worries eased. The greenback last traded at 105.02 yen, up 0.2 percent on the day.

"Higher U.S. stocks certainly did help push the yen down across the board," said Joe Manimbo, a currency trader at Ruesch International in Washington.

The euro gained 0.3 percent to 162.42 yen <EURJPY=> while the Canadian dollar soared 0.6 percent to 104.89 yen <CADJPY=>.


"The more benign CPI also led to bonds getting bought back, bringing yields down. That's what drove the dollar/yen rate and we're looking at stocks pricing higher, bringing back risk appetite," said's Dolan.

Consumer prices rose by 0.2 percent in April, slightly less than the 0.3 percent gain forecast by market analysts. CPI rose 0.3 percent in March.

The dollar erased earlier gains against the euro in what analysts called a kneejerk reaction to the CPI report. The euro was last trading at $1.5460, flat on the day, but off earlier troughs at $1.5397.

It briefly rose to a session high of $1.5486 <EUR=>.

Speculation the Fed is done with cutting borrowing costs, having slashed its key lending rate by 325 basis points to 2 percent since mid-September, has supported the dollar and analysts said this view had not changed.

U.S. interest rate futures showed the Fed would raise the benchmark federal funds rate by a quarter-percentage point by year-end to 2.25 percent. They priced in a 92 percent chance that the central bank would leave rates unchanged next month.

Analysts expected the euro's advance against the dollar to remain relatively muted during the session.

"The euro is carving out a top. We ran out of steam earlier this week at 1.5570. It looks like we are having a broadly sideways move to the euro. We need to get 1.5570 in order to signal a move to 1.57," said Marc Chandler, senior currency strategist at Brown Brothers Harriman in New York.

Sterling slumped to a near three-month low against the dollar after the Bank of England, in its quarterly inflation report, said British prices would shoot up this year, which many believe may delay interest rate cuts.

If British inflation continues to heat up, this will have a negative impact on the broader economy while keeping the central bank wary of cutting rates, which often promotes growth. Sterling last traded flat at $1.9946 <GBP=>. (Additional reporting by Lucia Mutikani in New York. Editing by Gary Crosse)

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