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Thursday June 11, 2009 - 20:31:22 GMT
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FOREX NEWS-Dollar falls as appetite for higher yields rises


Thu Jun 11, 2009 4:17pm EDT

* Dollar falls broadly as risk appetite increases

* Commodity-linked currencies surge

* Treasury sells $11 billion in 30-year bonds

* Talk of deficit, diversification weighs on dollar (Adds details, updates prices)

By Vivianne Rodrigues

NEW YORK, June 11 (Reuters) - The dollar fell broadly on Thursday as improved U.S. labor market and retail sales data raised optimism about an economic recovery and reduced safe-haven demand for the greenback.

The euro hit a session high above $1.4150 and the price of oil CLc1 climbed above $73 a barrel, lifting commodity-linked currencies such as the Australian dollar.

Strong demand for long-term U.S. debt at a Treasury auction helped lift bonds and stocks, further diminishing the allure of the dollar as a haven and boosting demand for higher yielding assets.

"It's a good auction," said Nick Bennenbroek, head of FX strategy at Wells Fargo Bank in New York. "(It) has caused U.S. stocks to gain and as a result, it has sort of trimmed safe-haven demand for the dollar, at least for today."

In late afternoon trading, the euro was 1 percent higher at $1.4102. It traded as high as $1.4178 <EUR=EBS> earlier, according to electronic trading platform EBS. The dollar fell 0.6 percent to 97.54 yen <JPY=EBS>, after hitting a session low of 97.31 yen.

U.S. Treasury prices rallied on Thursday, with 30-year debt extending its gains considerably after a solid auction of $11 billion of the long bonds. With Thursday's sale, the government auctioned a total of $65 billion in debt this week.

The U.S. Treasury intends to issue some $2 trillion of debt in 2009 alone. Concern about a record U.S. budget deficit and a steady rise in long-dated government bond yields, that could make it more costly to finance, also dented the dollar, analysts said. On Wednesday, yields on the benchmark 10-year Treasury note <US10YT=RR> hit 4 percent, the highest since October.

"It's not a surprise that long-term rates have risen," Melvin Harris, market strategist at Advanced Currency Markets in New York. "Everyone knew the 10-year was going to have to climb to 4 percent, and that's going to put a lot of pressure on authorities to try to cap rates."

Russia's central bank said this week it would divert some of its reserves away from U.S. Treasuries, a move that may be highlighted when the world's largest emerging countries meet in Moscow next week.


Data earlier showing fewer Americans filed for first-time jobless benefits last week than in recent weeks boosted hopes of recovery. Also earlier in the session, a report showed U.S. retail sales rose in May, though traders said the data was misleading because much of the gain was tied to higher gasoline prices.

"What we are seeing is a continuation of rising risk appetite. Equities are having a decent day, commodities are doing quite well, and that's weighing on the dollar," said George Davis, a strategist at RBC Capital Markets in Toronto.

A G8 source told Reuters the International Monetary Fund had raised global growth estimates for 2010 to 2.4 percent, from 1.9 percent in April. For more see [ID:nLB1032368].

The Australian dollar rose 2.2 percent to $0.8192 <AUD=D2> while the New Zealand dollar soared 2.1 percent to $0.6430 <NZD=D2> after the central bank left interest rates unchanged. (Additional reporting by Steven C. Johnson and Gertrude Chavez-Dreyfuss; Editing by James Dalgleish)

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