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Thursday May 14, 2009 - 20:22:21 GMT
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FOREX NEWS-US dollar rises versus yen as stocks rebound


Thu May 14, 2009 4:10pm EDT

* Higher stocks lend some support to dollar vs yen

* Yen falls against most major currencies

* Euro rebounds after broad sell-off on Wednesday

* Euro rises for first day in four against yen (Adds details, updates prices)

By Vivianne Rodrigues

NEW YORK, May 14 (Reuters) - The U.S. dollar rose against the safe-haven yen on Thursday as a rebound in global stocks supported a modest increase in risk appetite, hurting the Japanese currency.

Investors shrugged off recent weak U.S. economic data and, with the upbeat tone in financial markets, favored buying higher-yielding currencies such as the Australian dollar and Norwegian crown.

"There's been a lot of randomness in forex trading lately and there are many headwinds facing the dollar, but some investors may have gone too short on the currency and in days of lower risk aversion they may buy some back," said Benedikt Germanier, a currency strategist at UBS AG in Stamford, Connecticut.

Germanier warned, though, that dollar gains versus the yen may be limited.

"Japanese investors are once again investing domestically, cutting their exposure to assets outside Japan and other cyclical factors may favor the yen, which is a highly liquid currency," he said..

Germanier added he holds a "neutral view" on euro/dollar currently but sees more arguments to short the U.S. currency versus the yen.

Both the dollar and yen typically rise when investors turn risk averse and slip when risk appetite rises. But dealers said the dollar was gaining at the expense of the yen on Thursday after weakening against the Japanese currency earlier this week.

"There's been some opportunistic buying on dollar (versus yen) and on the euro today," said Matthew Strauss, a senior currency strategist at RBC Capital Markets in Toronto. "But there's still not a lot of conviction out there. For real direction on the major currency pairs, we need more data."

The euro rose against the yen for the first time in four days and advanced against the dollar after stocks in Wall Street extended gains.

In late afternoon trading in New York, the euro was 0.3 percent higher at $1.3642 <EUR=> after touching a session high of $1.3663, according to Reuters data. The euro was 0.7 percent higher against the yen at 130.66 <EURJPY=> after briefly touching 130.93. Earlier in the session it traded near a two-week low versus the yen.

The dollar rose 0.4 percent versus the yen to 95.77 <JPY=>.


The dollar initially fell against the Japanese currency after data showed U.S. jobless claims rose to 637,000 in the latest week, compared with forecasts of 610,000, but later recovered as stocks rose. [ID:nN13539913]

Sterling was also 0.5 percent higher at $1.5229 <GBP=>, suggesting that at least on Thursday the risk outlook has improved. The Australian dollar, another proxy for risk much like the pound, gained as well, rising 1.1 percent to US$0.7609 <AUD=> after a sharp slide on Wednesday.

Some analysts have warned, though, that optimism about a global recovery may be premature, given the surge in jobless claims and an unexpected decline in U.S. retail sales.

Most have also cited concerns that lending to corporates and consumers has remained tight despite billions of government money injected into financial institutions.

"People think the equity rally is overextended and it may fall short," said Dustin Reid, senior currency strategist at RBS Global Banking and Markets in Chicago.

He believes investors would take profits on gains in certain higher-yielders such as the Australian dollar on any indication that the global growth cycle may not advance as previously thought. (Additional reporting by Gertrude Chavez-Dreyfuss; Editing by Kenneth Barry)

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