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Tuesday September 30, 2008 - 11:44:02 GMT
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FOREX NEWS-Dlr rallies vs yen; cautious optimism creeps in

Tue Sep 30, 2008 7:39am EDT

* Dollar jumps over 1 pct vs yen; U.S. stock futures rise

* Cautious optimism on US bailout plan despite rejection

* Currency markets remain highly volatile

* Euro under pressure; Dexia partially nationalised

(Adds quotes, updates prices, changes byline)

By Jessica Mortimer

LONDON, Sept 30 (Reuters) - The dollar jumped 1 percent against the yen <JPY=> on Tuesday, as shock at the failure of the U.S. Congress to approve a $700 billion bank bailout plan gave way to cautious optimism that a deal may yet be reached.

Talk that U.S. lawmakers may reach some kind of agreement by the end of the week and speculation that central banks could slash interest rates allowed risk aversion to ease, with U.S. stock futures rebounding after Wall Street on Monday experienced its biggest one-day sell-off since 1997.

Trading continues to be dominated by waves of volatility, however, making it difficult for currencies to establish firm direction.

"We're seeing dollar/yen bounce around as optimism ebbs and flows about the U.S. bailout package, but we're not getting a trend," Standard Bank currency analyst Steve Barrow said.

"Markets tend to move when we're pretty certain about something. Here everyone's flying blind," he said, describing volatility as "astronomical".

Implied one month dollar/yen volatility jumped to its highest since mid March at 19.1 percent <JPY1MO=>.

The dollar slumped to a four-month low against the yen at 103.50 on trading platform EBS as investors scrambled into safe haven assets after U.S. lawmakers unexpectedly rejected the unprecedented rescue deal, which should have injected some life into frozen money markets.

But by 1104 GMT, the dollar was up 1.1 percent against the yen <JPY=> to 105.19, according to Reuters data. The euro fell 0.6 percent <EUR=> to $1.4416 and by 0.1 percent against the yen <EURJPY=> to 150.27.

EUROPE'S BANK WOES INCREASE

The euro and the pound made very little headway against the dollar, staying not far above the 10-day lows reached on Monday as evidence continued to highlight the international complexion of the banking crisis.

The French government took a 25 percent stake in Belgian-French financial services group Dexia (DEXI.PA: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) after a capital injection of 6.4 billion euros by France, Belgium and Luxembourg to shore it up. See [ID:nLU129366].

Ireland's government announced a scheme to safeguard deposits on Irish banks, which it said guarantees around 400 bln euros of liabilities. See [ID:nWLA0491].

Banks in Britain, Belgium, Russia, Iceland and the United States have been rescued by authorities so far this week, prompting mammoth injections of cash into the global banking system by central banks on Monday aimed at lubricating money markets.

But interbank rates remained painfully high, showing the central banks have not succeeded in easing credit tightness.

The market expects U.S. consumer confidence data and the latest purchasing managers' index on Chicago manufacturing activity later on Tuesday ECONUS to underline the weakness of the U.S. economy.

(Reporting by Jessica Mortimer; Editing by Ruth Pitchford)

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