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Tuesday September 8, 2009 - 21:25:26 GMT
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FOREX NEWS-U.S. dollar slides to 2009 low vs euro

Tue Sep 8, 2009 4:52pm EDT

* Investors in risk-seeking mode as global stocks rise

* Diversification talk keeps dollar on back foot

* Euro breaks above $1.45, highest since December (Recasts, updates prices)

By Gertrude Chavez-Dreyfuss

NEW YORK, Sept 8 (Reuters) - The U.S. dollar on Tuesday sank to its lowest level against the euro this year as volume returned after a summer lull and traders sold the currency amid a rosy global outlook.

Analysts said the dollar could resume seasonal declines as liquidity increases after a brief period in which the greenback rose following upbeat economic indicators.

The U.S. currency, seen as a safe haven in times of uncertainty and financial distress, tends to fall when investors' risk appetite increases.

Further weighing on the dollar were renewed concerns about the status of the greenback as the world's reserve currency sparked by a United Nations agency report on Monday and news out of China expressing concern about printing money to fund Treasury purchases. For the UN report, click on [ID:nL7696421].

"The dollar has been beaten down by several news headlines -- with the UN report and the China news," said Jacob Oubina, currency strategist, at in Bedminster, New Jersey.

Britain's Telegraph newspaper over the weekend reported that China was concerned about the Federal Reserve's policy of printing money to buy Treasury debt, which could threaten to set off a serious decline of the dollar and compel China to redesign its foreign reserves policy.

The report quoted a top member of the Communist hierarchy, Cheng Siwei, former vice-chairman of the Standing Committee and now head of China's green energy drive.

"All these things are dollar-negative. This is a reminder that the U.S. dollar is poised for some weakness in the months ahead," Oubina said.

In addition, the euro's EUR= push above $1.45 should pave the way for significant gains. The euro rose as high as $1.4535, the highest since December 2008.

In late afternoon trading, the euro last traded 1.2 percent higher at $1.4508.


HSBC said in a research note "the increased participation and liquidity (as summer trading ended) would theoretically increase the chances that the latest rise in euro/dollar can be extended."

HSBC said the euro's next upside target is $1.4720, a breach of which should propel the unit to its highest in nearly a year.

Against a basket of major currencies, the dollar slumped to its lowest in nearly a year. The ICE Futures' dollar index .DXY, which measures the value of the greenback against a basket of six currencies, fell to 77.047 -- its lowest since late September 2008. The index was last at 77.3064, down 0.9 percent.

"As we enter the first trading day after the summer, investors are decisively in risk-seeking mode," said Camilla Sutton, a currency strategist at Scotia Capital in Toronto.

Over the past two decades, September has been the second weakest month of the year for the dollar against the euro, with December being the weakest, according to data compiled by RBS Global Banking and Markets.

"Today's price action may likely be the beginning of the next leg lower on the dollar," said Scotia Capital's Sutton. "It all started when gold led the move higher in commodities, and as it broke the key $1,000 level it helped push the dollar even lower."

Gold earlier jumped to $1,007.45 an ounce XAU=, its highest since March 2008. It was last trading at $993.70. The yellow metal tends to track moves in the U.S. dollar inversely, as it can be bought as an alternative asset to the greenback. It is also cheaper for non-U.S. investors to buy gold if the dollar falls.

U.S. crude futures also rose sharply on the New York Mercantile Exchange and traded above $71 a barrel CLc1.

Sterling, meanwhile, rose to $1.6587, its highest in two weeks against the dollar, spurred by a bigger-than-expected increase in UK industrial production. [ID:nONS004469] It was last up 0.9 percent at $1.6488 GBP=.

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