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Monday July 28, 2008 - 11:48:04 GMT
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FOREX NEWS-Dlr slips, investors refocus on weak U.S. economy

Mon Jul 28, 2008 7:44am EDT

* Dollar index down 0.25 percent at 72.643 .DXY

* Dollar slips as confidence ebbs, oil rises

* Slide in European shares dents risk appetite

* Investors await data deluge later in the week

By Veronica Brown

LONDON, July 28 (Reuters) - The dollar slipped broadly on Monday, losing some of the momentum built after upbeat U.S. housing and consumer sentiment data late last week, as investors concluded that the U.S. economic climate remained poor.

The euro rose, brushing off data showing that German consumer sentiment hit a five-year low, as the market awaited a barrage of economic data from round the world this week which will culminate with crucial U.S. payrolls figures on Friday. A one percent slide in European shares kept risk appetite low, which also put the dollar under selling pressure. Stocks fell on jitters about the health of European financial firms ahead of earnings reports from Deutsche, HBOS, Unicredit and others later in the week.

Oil prices also played into the mix of factors, dragging the dollar down as crude bounced from a seven-week low.

The dollar <JPY=> hit a one-month high earlier on Monday at 108.08 yen according to Reuters data, after the Reuters/University of Michigan Surveys of Consumers on Friday showed that its confidence index rose to 61.2 in July from 56.4 in June.

But that momentum quickly subsided as investors' focus returned to the battered U.S. housing and employment markets plus inflation headwinds.

"The data was better on Friday, but the broad consensus is that the U.S. is still suffering. Second-tier data will not be enough to say 'Yes things are ok,' or 'No they are not,'" Westpac currency strategist Geoff Kendrick said.

The euro <EUR=> was up 0.3 percent at $1.5760, having touched a two week low of $1.5627 late last week.

The dollar fell 0.2 percent to 107.62 yen. Against a basket of major currencies .DXY, the dollar was down a quarter percent at 72.643.

Inflationary bellwether U.S. crude oil CLc1 steadied near $125 a barrel, supported by rebel attacks on the oil industry in key producer Nigeria.

GDP, JOBS

The euro rose despite the forward-looking German GfK consumer sentiment indicator falling to 2.1 for August from a downwardly revised 3.6 in July. The figure was the lowest since June 2003 [nL8141267].

Analysts said poor data from the single currency zone was likely to increase as it plays catch-up with the sharp U.S. slowdown.

"This morning's Gfk data from Germany were but the latest in a steady stream of Euro-zone figures that have cast doubt on the solidity of the Euro-zone economy," BONY Mellon said in a note to clients.

"In fact it is worth reminding ourselves of just how bad last week's figures were: Italian business confidence fell to its lowest level in 14 years; Germany's IFO index fell to its lowest level in nearly three years; the Euro-zone services PMI fell to a five year low," the bank added.

Some in the market had voiced tentative optimism on the possibility that the U.S. housing market may stabilise after Congress passed a rescue package that President George W. Bush is expected to sign soon.

That has sparked a rebound in the shares of U.S. banks and mortgage financing companies over the last two weeks.

The package will set up a $300 billion fund to help troubled homeowners with the aim of ending the deepest housing slump since the Great Depression. [ID:nN26416076]

But major focus this week lies with a deluge of data including Friday's U.S. jobs figures, and second quarter U.S. GDP on Thursday.

U.S. growth is expected to have increased from the previous quarter, but the payrolls report is expected to show a loss in July, which would mark the seventh straight month of decrease.

(Reporting by Veronica Brown; Editing by Gerrard Raven)

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