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Tuesday July 28, 2009 - 10:39:24 GMT
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FOREX NEWS-Dollar suffers broadly, hits 8-week low vs euro

Tue Jul 28, 2009 5:58am EDT

* Dollar hits 8-week low vs euro, 2009 trough vs FX basket

* High share prices suggest ongoing risk appetite

* Aussie dollar rallies to 10-mth high vs U.S. dollar

(Adds detail, updates prices)

By Naomi Tajitsu

LONDON, July 28 (Reuters) - The dollar hit an eight-week low against the euro on Tuesday as currencies deemed higher risk remained in vogue.

One of those, the Australian dollar, rallied to its highest level against the U.S. unit since September, boosted after comments from Australia's central bank governor fuelled speculation that interest rates may rise soon. European shares posted their highest close since November on Monday, on expectations of for more strong second quarter earnings, before turning slightly negative on Tuesday.

This, along with a surge in U.S. home sales data on Monday, bolstered risk appetite on signs the world economy is improving.

Analysts said higher shares and oil prices would lure more investors away from assets denominated in U.S. dollars and yen, which had benefitted from a surge in risk aversion earlier in the year.

"In a risk-on environment, we're going to see more downward pressure on the dollar," said Martin McMahon, forex strategist at Credit Suisse in Zurich, adding it was a matter of time before the euro hit its highest of the year above $1.4340.

By 0936 GMT, the euro EUR= was up 0.3 percent at $1.4280, having climbed as high as $1.4305 on electronic trading platform EBS in early European trade, its highest since early June.

Reports of euro/dollar options expiring later in the day were seen keeping the pair volatile. IFR reported that 200 million euros' worth of options with a strike price of $1.43 were expiring at the New York cut.

Gains in the single European currency helped to push the dollar index .DXY down to 78.315, its weakest since December.

Crude oil prices were on track to post their 10th straight day of gains, which boosted commodity currencies. The Australian dollar AUD=D4 jumped 1.3 percent on the day to $0.8339, its highest since September, while the New Zealand dollar rallied as high as $0.6635, its strongest in roughly 10 months.

The Canadian dollar CAD=D4 also hit its highest of the year against the U.S. unit of C$1.0750.

The U.S. dollar slipped 0.6 percent to 94.60 yen JPY=, as the yen trimmed broad losses after European shares gave up earlier gains.

The Australian and New Zealand dollars hovered near their highest levels against the yen since June.

Dealers flocked to the Australian currency after Reserve Bank of Australia Governor Glenn Stevens said risks to the economy were now more balanced and that low interest rates could inflate a housing bubble, the clearest sign yet that it was likely done easing policy. [nSYD518060]

"This ... reinforces the view that the RBA is likely to be the first G10 central bank to hike," analysts at CitiFX wrote in a research note.

Australian rates stand at 3.0 percent, already higher than 0-0.25 percent in the United States, and speculation of higher RBA rates may further heighten the currency's appeal among investors looking for capitalise on yield differentials.

With few major data or events due in Europe, traders awaited U.S. May home prices for more confirmation that the U.S. housing market may be starting to recover.

Analysts said they would also be looking for the outcome of high-level talks between the United States and China on Tuesday. (Editing by Mike Peacock)

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