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Monday July 7, 2008 - 20:49:56 GMT
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FOREX NEWS-Dollar rises against yen as stocks recoup some losses

Mon Jul 7, 2008 4:22pm EDT

* Dollar eases versus euro on renewed credit worries

* Credit concerns send U.S. stocks tumbling

* Markets focus on G8 summit (Recasts, updates prices, changes byline)

By Lucia Mutikani

NEW YORK, July 7 (Reuters) - The dollar rose versus the yen in choppy trade on Monday as U.S. stocks recouped some losses despite renewed fears financial institutions might be forced to write down more mortgage-related assets and raise capital.

But the dollar eased against the euro as those worries eclipsed earlier euphoria over an oil price drop from last week's record peak of $145.85 and an unexpected fall in euro-zone investor morale to a three-year low in July.

"What we have is a resurgence of risk aversion particularly relating to U.S. assets. There is concern over U.S. financial institutions and that's taking some of the air out of the U.S. dollar," said Stephen Malyon, senior currency strategist at Scotia Capital in Toronto.

Lehman Brother cautioned on Monday that accounting changes could force Fannie Mae FNM.N and Freddie Mac <FRE.N, the largest providers of funding for U.S. home mortgages, to raise capital at a difficult time.

Shares of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac plunged, dragging U.S. financial shares and the broader stock market down. Stocks later regained some lost ground, pushing the dollar higher against the yen.

Instability in the U.S. financial sector could complicate matters for the Federal Reserve, whose recent tough stance on inflation had been interpreted by many market participants as an intention to raise interest rates later this year.

Such a step would help narrow the interest rate differential between the dollar and the euro, in the wake of the European Central Bank's quarter-point rate hike to 4.25 percent last Thursday.

In late New York trade, the euro was was up 0.1 percent at $1.5720 <EUR=>, erasing losses that had seen it drop earlier to as low as $1.5611. The dollar was up 0.3 percent at 107.18 yen <JPY=>, as stocks regained some ground. It was still away from a session peak of 107.75 yen.

The New York Board of Trade's dollar index, which tracks the dollar's performance against a basket of six currencies, was flat around 72.680 .DXY, after earlier climbing to 73.158, the highest level since June 25, according to Reuters data.


"The U.S dollar is following the direction of U.S. equities for the time being in terms of sentiment, both trading lower on expectation of a weakening outlook," said Michael Woolfolk, currency strategist at Bank of New York Mellon in New York.

"The pessimism that was evident early last week for the U.S. appears to have carried over into the afternoon session, which is an unfortunate development because there is very little to capture traders' attention this week in North America; we have very quiet calendar."

The dollar got some support from comments by San Francisco Federal Reserve Bank President Janet Yellen that inflation was starting to outweigh the risk of a deteriorating U.S. economy.

Yellen's remarks indicated that the Fed could be leaning toward raising interest rates.

Market attention was also focused on the annual summit in Japan of the Group of Eight industrialized nations.

G8 leaders aim to present a united front against global inflation, driven by soaring oil and food prices, but analysts say solving the problem will require input from developing as well as developed countries.

Investors are also keen to see whether G8 leaders would mention this year's weakness of the U.S. dollar, although many doubt that officials will call for concrete action.

"The leaders attending the meeting are going to embrace the recent move in the U.S. dollar to stronger level," said Scotia Capital's Maylon.

"They may try to give it more encouragement, but I doubt we are going to see an explicit reference to it in the communique. It's probably more accurate to say we are not going to see anything negative for the currency."

Sterling <GBP=> was one of the major movers of the day, falling as low as $1.9650 on news British industrial output fell more than expected in May. (Additional reporting by Gertrude Chavez Dreyfuss; Editing by Leslie Adler)

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