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Friday October 2, 2009 - 00:40:15 GMT
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FOREX NEWS-Dollar rises on safe-haven demand; payrolls ahead

 

Thu Oct 1, 2009 4:37pm EDT

* Dollar rises as ISM manufacturing index below forecast

* EU's Almunia comments weigh on euro

* U.S. jobless claims increase, personal spending rises

* Investors wary ahead of Friday non-farm payrolls report (Updates prices, adds comments, details)

By Wanfeng Zhou

NEW YORK, Oct 1 (Reuters) - The dollar rose against the euro and a basket of currencies on Thursday as disappointing jobs and manufacturing data fueled worries about a global economy recovery and boosted the greenback's safe-haven appeal.

The euro came under particular pressure after a top euro zone official said the region's finance ministers would discuss the single currency's recent appreciation before a Group of Seven meeting this weekend.

Wall Street shares tumbled after data showed more people than expected filed initial claims for jobless benefits last week, while the manufacturing sector grew less than expected in September. For details, see [ID:nN01395512]

The U.S. data followed the release of disappointing numbers on euro zone unemployment and UK manufacturing activity.

"The main driver is a slow increase in risk aversion at a time when ... data around the world are showing a slight slowdown in the pace of manufacturing" recovery," said Andrew Wilkinson, senior market analyst at Interactive Brokers in Greenwich, Connecticut.

"I think that's unnerving some people going into the final quarter. The big question is whether the various government stimuli will continue to bolster manufacturing around the world," he added.

In late New York trading, the euro fell 0.7 percent to $1.4529 EUR= and 0.8 percent to 130.37 yen EURJPY=R.

Traders also focused on remarks made by the European Union's Economic and Monetary Affairs Commissioner Joaquin Almunia, who said euro strength would be discussed when G7 officials meet in Istanbul this weekend.

European Central Bank President Jean-Claude Trichet supported that view, saying excess foreign-exchange moves had an adverse impact. On Monday, he backed the argument for a strong U.S. currency.

PAYROLLS LOOM

Finance officials worldwide have expressed in the past week discomfort with their respective currencies' strength against the dollar, which tumbled more than 6 percent against a currency basket in the third quarter.

"The concern for dollar bears right now is that the issue of dollar weakness is raised at the forthcoming G7 meeting. I don't think people want to be left short of dollars," Wilkinson said.

The ICE futures dollar index .DXY, which tracks the value of the greenback against a basket of six currencies, rose 0.7 percent to 77.207.

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said on Thursday the dollar would weaken if it loses its status as the international reserve currency. He added that he doesn't see this as a near-term risk, so long as the United States takes the appropriate steps to manage its fiscal problems. [ID:nN30231559]

Against the yen, the dollar JPY= was little changed at 89.71 yen, staying above an eight-month trough of 88.23 yen hit earlier this week on trading platform EBS.

Investors were also wary ahead of Friday's U.S. non-farm payrolls report. The economy likely shed 180,000 jobs in September, according to a Reuters poll. [ECI/US]

The day's economic data did offer some bright spots, including strong U.S. personal spending for September and upbeat housing numbers. But investors were focused on the worse-than-expected manufacturing number from the Institute for Supply Management.

"The (ISM) was pretty close to expectations, but if you're looking at recovery, the number really didn't do the trick," said Ronald Simpson, director of currency research at Action Economics in Tampa, Florida. (Additional reporting by Leah Schnurr; Editing by Kenneth Barry)

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