Monday October 5, 2009 - 10:05:08 GMT
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Reuters - www.reuters.com
FOREX NEWS-Familiar G7 refrain and stocks gains weigh on dollar
Mon Oct 5, 2009 5:57am EDT
*G7 reiterates familiar stance on FX
*Global stocks show resilience, fuelling "risk appetite"
*Aussie up as local media see chance of Tuesday rate hike
*Dollar the broad loser; dollar index down 0.25 pct
By Jamie McGeever
LONDON, Oct 5 (Reuters) - The dollar weakened on Monday after a G7 meeting at the weekend reaffirmed the market's view policymakers are comfortable with a gradually weakening dollar, a trade encouraged by the resilience in global equity markets.
The biggest beneficiary was the Australian dollar, which was also boosted by mounting speculation in the Australian media that the central bank could raise interest rates this week, becoming the first major country to hike rates.
After the Group of Seven finance chiefs' meeting in Istanbul, traders bet on further dollar weakness to help redress imbalances between consumer and indebted countries like the United States and producer and saver nations like China.
But the dollar held steady against the yen, with the perceived greater threat of intervention from Japanese authorities to fight export-damaging yen appreciation leading traders to buy other units such as the euro.
Global stocks held up Monday despite a weak U.S. employment report on Friday. The weak jobs data suggests U.S. monetary policy will be kept ultra loose, encouraging traders to buy perceived "riskier" currencies and assets like stocks.
"Risk bounced back pretty strongly ... and that's leading to a generally softer dollar today. The market is looking to build up 'risk positions' again," said Geoff Kendrick, currency strategist at UBS in London.
"The G7 could have been a red light (to dollar selling), but there was no change," he said.
European stocks were up 0.3 percent and U.S. stock futures pointed to Wall Street opening 0.5 percent higher.
At 0945 GMT the dollar index .DXY, a measure of the greenback's performance against six major currencies, was down a quarter of a percent at 76.85, while the euro climbed 0.4 percent to $1.4630 EUR=.
The euro had traded below $1.45 on Friday after the U.S. jobs report for September, showing non-farm payrolls dropped by 263,000, triggered a flurry of safe-haven dollar buying. But the euro's quick bounce back suggested little appetite for further dollar strength, analysts said.
European Central Bank Governing Council member Ewald Nowotny was quoted on Monday as saying the euro's current level posed no major threat and merited scrutiny but no major action. [ID:nL5685031]
The euro also took some marginal support after Irish voters overwhelmingly endorsed the European Union's Lisbon reform treaty in a referendum -- a result which could smooth the 27-nation bloc's decision making process [ID:nL3426918].
The Australian dollar was up 1 percent against the dollar at $0.8740 AUD=, after two influential Australian columnists wrote that the country's central bank would probably raise rates to 3.25 percent from a record low 3.0 percent at Tuesday's policy meeting. [ID:nSYD44556]
Australian markets had been pricing in only a low probability of a rate increase this week, with many expecting the central bank would be more likely to raise the cash rate from 3.0 percent in November.
The U.S. dollar was up slightly against the yen at 89.90 yen JPY= with the market undecided whether to push it back down towards a recent eight-month low of 88.23 yen.
Japan's finance minister, Hirohisa Fujii, said in Istanbul that Japan would take action against what it perceived as excessive, one-sided moves in the yen. This helped put the brakes on dollar/yen's fall below 90 yen, traders said.
G7 finance ministers and central bankers again urged China to strengthen the yuan to help correct global imbalances and said too much foreign exchange volatility tended to threaten economic stability. [ID:nL3421338]
"G7 basically repeated their mantra, although that's not really new news," said Johan Javeus, strategist at SEB in Stockholm.
"And ... it seems we could have some 'risk on' this week, and that's something that would trigger euro/dollar to go higher," he said.
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