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Monday September 14, 2009 - 10:53:54 GMT
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FOREX NEWS-Dollar gains on weak stocks, China trade spat

Mon Sep 14, 2009 6:44am EDT

* Dollar index at 76.931 vs 76.608 .DXY late U.S. Friday

* U.S.-China trade spat dents risk appetite

* Yen hits 7-mth high of 90.18 yen per dollar JPY= (Adds data, updates prices)

By Tamawa Desai

LONDON, Sept 14 (Reuters) - The dollar gained against most currencies on Monday as falling global stocks spurred profit-taking and as investors fretted over a growing trade spat between the United States and China.

The dollar index, a gauge for the greenback's performance against six major currencies, stood at 76.931 .DXY, up from 76.608 in late U.S. trade on Friday and recovering from a one-year low of 76.457 hit late last week.

On Friday, U.S. President Barack Obama announced safeguard duties on tyre imports from China that would put additional duties of 35 percent on Chinese-made types from Sept. 26.

China struck back, announcing its own anti-dumping investigations of motor vehicles and chicken products from the United States. [ID:nLD514738]

"A trade war will not help the global economy and we believe this news is enough to dent a market positioned for recovery," said Chris Turner, head of FX strategy at ING.

On Monday, Chinese state media issued fresh denunciations of the U.S.' decision. "Obama has undoubtedly chosen a dangerous gambit," said the International Business Daily, a Chinese-language daily issued by China's Ministry of Commerce.

The euro was down 0.1 percent on the day at $1.4554 EUR=. It hit a 2009 peak of $1.4636 on trading platform EBS on Friday.

Markets largely shrugged off euro zone industrial production, which fell 0.3 percent in July, slightly lower than forecasts, and employment in the euro zone down 0.5 percent in the second quarter versus the previous three months. [ID:nLE639647]

Separately, the European Commission forecast the euro zone economy to contract by 4.0 percent this year -- the same as it forecast in May. [ID:nBFA002982]


The U.S. currency also gained against higher-yielding currencies such as the Australian and New Zealand dollars as speculators covered short positions that had pushed the greenback to one-year lows.

The Australian dollar fell 0.6 percent to $0.8576 AUD=D4, retreating from Friday's high of $0.8677, while the New Zealand dollar slid 1.1 percent to $0.6990 NZD=D4. The kiwi was also hurt on an unexpected fall in retail sales for July.

But many analysts said the dollar's rebound was temporary, as the greenback would be undermined by falling Treasury yields and a view it was replacing the yen as a funding currency.

Talk of Asian central banks diversifying from U.S. dollars to other currencies and assets, including gold, had also contributed to dollar-selling last week.

The dollar was flat ay at 90.71 yen JPY=, having fallen earlier to 90.18 yen on EBS, its lowest since February.

Traders said large options barriers around 90 yen would likely slow the yen's gains versus the dollar.

The euro was also little changed at 132.04 yen EURJPY=R, weighed down as a 2.3 percent drop in Tokyo's Nikkei average .N225 prompted Japanese investors to trim long positions.

Japan's vice finance minister Yasutake Tango said on Monday officials are watching currency moves closely but declined to comment on specific levels. [ID:nT130008]

Obama will deliver an economic address in New York at 1610 GMT to push for stricter oversight of Wall Street, one year after the demise of Lehman Brothers, as well as discuss plans to unwind the government's involvement in the financial sector. (Additional reporting by Rika Otsuka in Tokyo)

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