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Friday October 31, 2008 - 10:13:15 GMT
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FOREX NEWS-Dlr broadly firmer; yen up on risk wariness

Fri Oct 31, 2008 5:58am EDT

* Dollar broadly firmer; yen up on risk aversion

* Month-end rebalancing flows underpin dollar

* Euro zone inflation seen easing; CPI due out 1000 GMT

* Barclays to raise $12 bln in capital

(Releads, adds quotes, updates prices, changes dateline prvs TOKYO)

By Tamawa Kadoya

LONDON, Oct 31 (Reuters) - The dollar was firmer against most major currencies on Friday, on expectations of large dollar demand for the month-end, while the yen was also buoyed as a fall in Asian share prices renewed risk aversion.

Weakness in share prices heightened concerns of a deepening global recession, despite a series of rate cuts by central banks with the Bank of Japan the latest to ease policy.

But trade, especially in euro/dollar, may be dictated by month-end window dressing by funds, analysts said, adding that it may contribute to erratic moves in the currency market.

"Volatility is the watchword today," said Adam Cole, global head of currency strategy at RBS Capital Markets in London. "Large flows for hedging and rebalancing at the month end when the market is thin will likely prompt high volatility."

At 0955 GMT, the euro was down 1.1 percent against the dollar at $1.2756, while it fell 2.7 percent against the yen to 123.76 yen. The dollar <JPY=> was down 1.5 percent at 97.07 yen.

Sterling was down around 1.5 percent against the dollar, but off session lows on news that UK banking giant Barclays PLC (BARC.L: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) secured $12 billion in new capital [ID:nLV571355].

European shares stumbled after the Nikkei average .N225 shed 5 percent on Friday. Japan's main stock index posted its biggest ever monthly fall in October, plunging 24 percent. Japanese markets will be closed on Monday for a national holiday.

In a widely flagged move, the BOJ cut the benchmark overnight call rate for the first time in seven years, joining global efforts to contain the financial crisis. But it trimmed the rate by a smaller-than-expected 20 basis points to 0.30 percent and the board was split 4-4, with BOJ Governor Masaaki Shirakawa casting the deciding vote [ID:nTKU003142].

He added that the recent yen rise was affecting the economy, while Japanese Finance Minister Shoichi Nakagawa said on Friday the ministry had the means to intervene in the currency market, but would not say if or when it would [ID:nTKB003113].

Earlier this week, Group of Seven finance ministers and central bank governors singled out the excessive volatility of the yen and said they were concerned about its implications for economic and financial stability.


October has seen a roller-coaster ride for currencies, as investors were forced to liquidate assets, prompting flows back into the dollar and yen.

The yen struck a 13-year peak against the dollar and a six-year peak against the euro this month, jumping roughly 15 percent on a trade-weighted basis. .IBOXXFXJPY

For the month, euro/dollar was down nearly 10 percent for October, on track to a record monthly decline.

The dollar/yen is down 8.5 pct on the month so far, en route to clock its biggest loss in 10 years, and sterling/dollar is nearly nine percent weaker from the start of the month, the biggest loss since October 1992.

The euro may come under further pressure as data on Friday is expected to show inflation easing in the euro zone, giving more scope for the European Central Bank to cut rates next week.

October consumer price index for the euro zone likely rose 3.2 percent after a 3.6 percent gain in the previous month. The data is due out at 1000 GMT.

The Bank of England is also expected to make a substantive interest rate cut next week. The UK economy contracted 0.5 percent in the third quarter, with the recent financial turmoil expected to hit growth in the following quarters.

The U.S. Federal Reserve cut its key federal funds rate target by 50 basis points to one percent on Wednesday, as widely expected. The rate is now at its lowest since June 2004. (Reporting by Tamawa Kadoya)

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