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Wednesday September 24, 2008 - 12:36:54 GMT
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FOREX NEWS-Yen falls on Goldman deal, dlr skittish on Fed plan

Wed Sep 24, 2008 8:22am EDT

(Removes extraneous reference to yen in 12th par)

* Yen down; Goldman deal, Fed swap lines ease risk aversion

* Dlr index .DXY pressed by uncertainty on US bailout plan

* Risk aversion plays reduced

* Euro recovers after brief fall on weak German Ifo (Recasts, changes byline, adds quotes, updates prices)

By Veronica Brown

LONDON, Sept 24 (Reuters) - The yen fell broadly on Wednesday as investors eased back from risk aversion, taking some comfort from news that Goldman Sachs would get fresh funding and the establishment of new Fed currency swap lines.

But while the dollar found respite against the yen, nagging worry about U.S. financial sector health hampered its broader progress with uncertainty spreading over the U.S. government's proposed $700 billion package to mop up toxic mortgage debt.

After getting caught in the eye of a financial storm that worsened last week when investment bank Lehman Brothers collapsed, investors took some reassurance from news that Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway Inc (BRKa.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz)(BRKb.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) said it would invest $5 billion in Goldman Sachs Group Inc (GS.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz).

Goldman is also working out a deal to get several billion dollars from Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group (8316.T: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz), Kyodo news agency reported.

The U.S. Federal Reserve also set up currency swap lines with more central banks, aiming to boost short-term U.S. dollar liquidity and help drive down interbank lending rates. [ID:nLO656400]

"Both the developments in the investment banking sector and the temporary arrangement the Fed has made with some more international central banks is reflected in the yen's pricing," SG currency strategist Phyllis Papadavid said.

"But it's still a very uncertain environment and the risk backdrop is very difficult, despite policymakers efforts. There's a lot of uncertainty around what everyone is focused on, which is the U.S. policy package," she added.

Euro's gains against the dollar were stemmed by data showing a bigger-than-expected drop in German corporate sentiment.

The Munich-based Ifo economic research institute said its business climate index fell to 92.9 in September from 94.8 in August. It was the lowest reading since May 2005 and below market expectations of 94.1.

At 1120 GMT, the dollar was down 0.1 percent against a basket of major currencies .DXY, while the euro rose 0.2 percent on the day to $1.4682 <EUR=>.

The dollar was up 0.5 percent at 106.05 yen <JPY=> after hitting a session high of 106.34 yen. The euro gained 0.7 percent to 155.64 yen <EURJPY=>.

In a bid to help dollar-starved banks raise funds, the Fed said it would establish temporary currency swap lines with central banks of Australia, Denmark, Sweden and Norway worth a total of $30 billion.

But bank-to-bank lending markets are still under stress. The interbank cost of borrowing overnight and three-month sterling jumped on Wednesday, the three-month cost of borrowing dollars and euro also rose, according to the British Bankers Association's latest daily fixing.


The dollar, which had seen a stunning run higher before the latest bout of turbulence, has been on the back foot since last week's demise of Lehman Brothers (LEHMQ.PK: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) and the $85 billion rescue of American International Group Inc (AIG.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz).

On Monday, if suffered its biggest one day fall versus the euro since the single currency's inception in January 1999.

Dollar sentiment looked set to stay uncertain as doubts grew about the effectiveness of the U.S. government's proposed $700 billion bailout plan to tackle the financial crisis.

"The Treasury plan will remain the focus of the market, and an early approval will likely remain critical to stabilisation in market sentiment," UBS strategists said in a research note.

Traders will keep a close eye on comments by Fed chairman Ben Bernanke who is due to continue congressional testimony on Wednesday on the U.S. government's plan to buy up toxic assets from banks' balance sheets.

Also slated for release on Wednesday are figures on the U.S. housing sector, which triggered the global credit crisis and is seen as key to any economic recovery.

August U.S. sales of existing homes are forecast to have declined to a 4.93 million annualised rate in August, down from 5 million, according to a Reuters poll ECON. (Reporting by Veronica Brown; Editing by Ron Askew)

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