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Wednesday September 30, 2009 - 11:21:04 GMT
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FOREX NEWS-Dollar broadly weaker; euro up on ECB tender

Wed Sep 30, 2009 6:34am EDT

* Dollar index down 0.7 pct at 76.544 .DXY

* Euro up on ECB 1-year cash tender results

* Aussie up; yen, stg higher driven by quarter-end flows

* Norwegian crown gains on hawkish central bank comments

(Adds quotes, updates prices)

By Tamawa Desai

LONDON, Sept 30 (Reuters) - The dollar fell against major currencies on Wednesday, with quarter-end buying lifting sterling and the yen, while the euro gained after results of a European Central Bank cash tender offer.

The volume of bids at the one-year tender was lower than expected. [ID:nLU128853] That implied financial conditions in the euro zone were improving and that there may be less need for the ECB to flood the money market with liquidity.

"The economy has turned a corner and the bottom line is that central banks are making the first tentative steps towards unwinding the emergency liquidity programmes, and maybe the ECB will do so in the next few months as well," said Kenneth Broux, financial markets economist at Lloyds Banking Group.

The implied euro zone-U.S. interest rate gap based on March 2010 Euribor and eurodollar futures contracts widened by 5 basis points to 31 basis points, Reuters charts showed, boosting the euro's yield appeal.

The euro hit a session high of $1.4673 after the results. By 1010 GMT, it was up 0.5 percent at $1.4660 EUR=.

The dollar index was down 0.7 percent on the day at 76.544 .DXY, within sight of its eight-month low just below 76.0 struck last week.


The dollar dipped to 89.36 yen JPY=, close to an eight-month trough of 88.23 yen hit on Monday. The yen gained some momentum after Japanese Finance Minister Hirohisa Fujii said Tokyo had no plans to bring up the yen's recent rise at a weekend Group of Seven finance leaders' meeting. [ID:nTKG006505]

He also said Japan would pursue domestic demand-led growth.

Sterling drew further support from the biggest rise in UK consumer morale for 14 years, extending Tuesday's rebound on talk the Bank of England was not likely to cut the rate of interest it pays on bank deposits any time soon. [ID:nLT627876]

The pound was up 0.8 percent on the day at $1.6099 GBP=D4.

Meanwhile, hawkish comments from Norway's central bank chief pushed the Norwegian crown to a 11-month high against the euro.

Norges Bank Governor Svein Gjedrem said the central bank may start to raise interest rates from record low levels sooner than it projected in June.

He also said house prices in Norway, which rose for the fifth consecutive month in August, had risen sharply and "probably excessively".

The central bank kept its key rate unchanged last week, but said it had considered raising it. Analysts expect a hike as early as October.

Another big gainer was the Australian dollar, which rose more than 1.0 percent on the day to a 13-month peak of $0.8837 AUD=D4 after strong retail sales data added to the case for a rise in interest rates as early as November. [ID:nSYU007306]

Sentiment toward the dollar remains broadly bearish. It has lost 10 percent of its value on a trade-weighted basis over the last two quarters as ultra-low U.S. interest rates and huge supply of greenbacks have tempted investors to sell it for higher-yielding currencies and assets.

(Additional reporting by Jamie McGeever, editing by Nigel Stephenson)

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