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Monday September 7, 2009 - 11:03:24 GMT
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FOREX NEWS-Dollar, yen retreat; Euro gains after G20 pledge

Mon Sep 7, 2009 4:18am EDT

* Euro, commodity-linked currencies gain as stocks advance

* Trade subdued due to U.S. market holiday on Monday

* Eyes on RBNZ, BoE, BoC policy meetings, Chinese data

(Updates, changes byline, dateline previously TOKYO)

By Emelia Sithole-Matarise

LONDON, Sept 7 (Reuters) - The dollar and the yen weakened on Monday, with the euro advancing while the Australian dollar hit its strongest level in a year as shares gained after a G20 pledge to keep economic stimulus packages in place.

The New Zealand dollar hit its strongest level against the dollar in nearly a year with analysts saying investors were slightly more inclined to put on riskier trades after the G20 leading powers agreed to continue implementing expansionary monetary and fiscal policy, and new draft rules in China to ease investment limits. [ID:nL5327479] [ID:nPEK33586]

But a holiday in U.S. markets and continuing caution about the economic outlook, following a mixed U.S. jobs report on Friday, meant there was little impetus for riskier currencies to push on aggressively against the dollar or yen.

"The G20 was positive for risk appetite, you can see that from the yen and dollar's performance. At the same time people are still a bit cautious as we are approaching the end of this policy cycle," said Geoffrey Yu, a currency strategist at UBS.

"We've got three central bank meetings this week. Let's see what they announce, if it's confirmed they still want loose monetary policy then it's a sign that central banks are still a little bit cautious on recovery prospects."

The dollar index .DXY, a gauge of the greenback's performance against six major currencies, was 0.2 percent down at 78.96 by 0759 GMT.

Against the yen, the dollar rose to 93.13 yen JPY=, up 0.2 percent from late U.S. trading on Friday when it touched 93.26 yen on trading platform EBS.

The euro gained 0.6 percent to 133.72 yen EURJPY=R and rose 0.4 percent to $1.4347 EUR=, near a one week high but still below August's eight-month high at $1.4448.

RANGE TRADING HOLDS

"Attention today returns to the resistance level around 1.44000. In view of the U.S. holiday a breach of this level seems unlikely though. We therefore have to prepare ourselves for a continuation of the range trading," Commerzbank strategists said in a note.

The Australian dollar AUD=D4, which climbed 1.3 percent on Friday, rose to $0.8555 on Reuters dealing system data, its highest in a year, before standing 0.5 percent up on the day at $0.8546 and 0.6 percent up on yen at 79.65 yen AUDJPY=R.

The New Zealand dollar NZD=D4 rose to $0.6934 against the U.S. dollar NZD=D4, its highest since mid-September 2008, according to Reuters charts.

Higher-yielding currencies advanced as European shares extended Friday's gains with the pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index up 1.4 percent by 0807 GMT.

The highlights for the market this week will be three major central bank meetings. The Reserve Bank of New Zealand (RBNZ), the Bank of England (BoE) and the Bank of Canada (BoC) meet on Thursday and while all three are expected to keep rates unchanged, their statements will be closely scrutinised by investors.

The BoE surprised last time with an expansion of its quantitative easing programme, and the market will be wary of any additional credit easing measures.

Investors will watch the RBNZ for any change in its explicit easing bias, while the markets will focus on the conditional BoC commitment to keep rates on hold until June 2010.

Also due this week is a raft of Chinese economic data, including inflation, retail sales numbers and industrial production, which will give investors an idea about whether the recovery in the economy is quickening or not. (Additional reporting by Kaori Kaneko in Tokyo)

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