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Friday November 7, 2008 - 10:12:51 GMT
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FOREX NEWS-Dollar slips on higher shares, U.S. jobs awaited

Fri Nov 7, 2008 4:56am EST

* Dollar slides before U.S. payrolls data

* Euro <EUR=> up 1 pct at $1.2820

* Economists expect 200,000 U.S. job losses in October

(Recasts, changes dateline prvs TOKYO)

By Naomi Tajitsu

LONDON, Nov 7 (Reuters) - The dollar slipped on Friday as early gains in European shares tempted some investors to sell the U.S. currency for higher-yielding ones, while markets awaited an important reading of U.S. unemployment.

Investors also tried to determine the mid-term currency impact of big interest rate cuts the previous day, when the Bank of England cut rates by a staggering 1.5 percentage points, while the European Central Bank eased by a half point.

U.S. payrolls figures due at 1330 GMT are expected to show 200,000 non-farm jobs were shed in October, which would be the biggest drop in more than five years [nN05288837]. "The jobs data is a crucial reading and the market will probably not like it much, so there's some selling ahead of the announcement," said Geoffrey Yu, currency strategist at UBS in London.

Analysts said a weak reading would likely trigger initial selling in the dollar as it would add to the view that the U.S. economy is rapidly deteriorating, but added the U.S. currency may ultimately gain on the argument that a struggling economy may pose greater risks to the global economy.

"If we see a really bad jobs number, we could see another round of risk reduction once again," said Yu at UBS.

Before the payrolls report, markets awaited a reading of German industrial output due at 1100 GMT. Output is seen falling by a monthly 2.0 percent in September, reversing a 3.4 percent month-on-month rise in August.

The euro <EUR=> rallied around one percent to a session high of $1.2850 according to Reuters data, recovering from a slide to $1.2654 earlier in the day. The dollar <JPY=> fell 0.4 percent to 97.38 yen.

Firm European shares also supported the euro, as they signalled an easing of intense risk aversion that has battered risky assets, including higher-yielding currencies such as the euro and sterling.

The single currency had slipped on Thursday in an initial reaction to the ECB's 50 basis point rate cut to 3.25 percent, which had disappointed investors who had argued that a struggling euro zone economy warranted a bigger reduction.

In contrast, the BoE's surprise 150 basis point cut, which took rates to their lowest in 50 years to 3.0 percent, was seen as a decisive move to help spur the ailing UK economy.

This helped to boost sterling <GBP=> by 0.8 percent versus the dollar on Friday, although a slide against the euro <EURGBP=> pushed the pound's value against a basket of major currencies <=GBP> to its weakest in 12 years.

Some analysts said while sterling may receive some initial support from the BoE's aggressive move, extreme economic weakness would continue to weigh, and the euro would also stay under selling pressure from the gloomy economic outlook for the euro zone.

"With possibly six months of very weak economic data to come from all the major developed economies, it seems premature to us to believe that currencies will strengthen on the back of monetary easing," analysts at BTM UFJ said in a research note. (Editing by Mike Peacock)

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