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Thursday September 24, 2009 - 10:41:46 GMT
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FOREX NEWS-Dollar retreats on U.S. rate view; stg takes hit

Thu Sep 24, 2009 6:22am EDT

* Dollar falls 1 pct on day vs yen, focus on 90 yen level

* Euro pulls back from 1-yr high vs dollar after German Ifo

* Sterling takes hit after BoE King's weak pound comments

(Updates throughout)

By Emelia Sithole-Matarise

LONDON, Sept 24 (Reuters) - The dollar fell against most major currencies on Thursday as investors shifted funds from the greenback after the Federal Reserve strengthened expectations interest rates will stay very low for a long time.

The dollar fell 1 percent against the yen as Japanese exporters back from a three-day market holiday bought the traditional funding currency, with traders targeting a break below the psychologically key 90 yen level.

Sterling extended broad losses, hitting its lowest level against the euro in more than five months after Bank of England Governor Mervyn King said a weak pound was helping to rebalance the UK economy. [ID:nLN641036]

The U.S. currency pushed slightly above a 1-year trough against the euro after the German Ifo business sentiment index rose in September to its highest in a year but undershot forecasts of a stronger advance. [ID:nBEB002457]

Analysts said that in reiterating its pledge to keep interest rates at exceptional lows for a long time after this week's policy meeting, the Fed had sounded less hawkish than some had expected [ID:nN23390829].

"They're keeping policy very, very easy for an extended period. Because of that we've got a bias very much towards more U.S. dollar weakness in the medium term," said Stephen Koukoulas, chief global markets strategist at TD Securities.

"The U.S. is one of the weakest economies in the world not only from the business cycle in terms of GDP but also structurally... It's not a market that you'd be really wanting to put your money into unless you really had to," he said.

The dollar fell to 90.36 yen JPY=, its lowest in more than a week, according to Reuters data. Traders said there were a lot of option expiries and barriers at 90.00 yen and cited talk of repatriation from Japanese investors as the fiscal half-year end on September 30 looms.

"If we go through 89/90 it's going to come lower quite quickly. Basically we'll see what New York does with it," one trader in London said.


The yen rose broadly, with the euro falling 0.6 percent against the Japanese currency to 133.70 yen EURJPY=R and the Australian dollar slipping 0.4 percent to 79.11 yen AUDJPY=R.

The euro rose 0.3 percent on the day to $1.4769 EUR= but this was still off a one-year high of $1.4845 hit on trading platform EBS the previous day.

The European single currency is likely to see more profit-taking after a brisk rally that has boosted it nearly 3 percent so far this month. But this is expected to be a temporary correction.

With U.S. rates set to stay near zero for some time, investors are likely to resume funding carry trades in dollars, sending the dollar lower once more.

"We expect to see EUR/USD rise to at least $1.5000 by the end of the year and wouldn't rule out re-testing last year's highs at some point," analysts at TD Securities said.

Sterling fell 1.3 percent on the day against the euro EURGBP=D4 to 91.27 pence, its weakest in more than five months, and was about 1 percent down on the dollar at the day's low of $1.6186 GBP= by 0948 GMT.

Meanwhile, the New Zealand dollar rose 0.5 percent to $0.7228 NZD=D4, crawling towards Wednesday's high of $0.7315, its strongest since early August 2008.

The Australian dollar, another higher-yielding currency, climbed 0.4 percent to $0.8736 AUD=D4, rising towards a 13-month high of $0.8790.

(Editing by Nigel Stephenson)

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