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Friday October 9, 2009 - 10:14:58 GMT
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FOREX NEWS-Dollar rises broadly after Bernanke comments


Fri Oct 9, 2009 6:03am EDT

* Dollar rises broadly, recouping some of this week's losses

* U.S. currency boosted by Bernanke comments on rates

* Dollar rises 1 percent vs yen, high-yielders retreat

(Adds comment, updates throughout)

By Naomi Tajitsu

LONDON, Oct 9 (Reuters) - The dollar rose broadly on Friday after U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke made clear he was thinking of an exit strategy from quantitative easing and low interest rates as the economy improves.

After taking a beating for much of the week, the U.S. currency recovered from a 14-month trough hit against a basket of currencies on Thursday and pulled further away from an 8 1/2-month low hit against the yen earlier in the week.

Bernanke said late on Thursday that the Fed had the tools and the ability to withdraw its flood of cash and loans to the economy -- among the main reasons for the dollar's broad weakness -- and reiterated that accommodative policies were likely to be needed for an extended period. [ID:nN08545619].

While his comments echoed a view recently put forward by other Fed officials, analysts said they offered some relief to the dollar which had been stung by recent weak economic data. A dismal jobs report last week bolstered expectations U.S. rates would remain low for some time to come.

"Explanations by Fed officials have been helpful in clearing the air on what strategy will be taken as the economy recovers," said Ulrich Leuchtmann, currency strategist at Commerzbank in Frankfurt.

But he said dollar gains on Bernanke's comments would be limited as the Fed was unlikely to raise rates until the second half of 2010.

"The market is not yet ready to jump on the rate rise outlook to aggressively buy the dollar," Leuchtmann said.

By 0923 GMT, the dollar JPY= was up 0.8 percent at 89.13 yen, having climbed as much as 1 percent on the day to 89.42 yen. Demand from Japanese players, including importers, ahead of a holiday weekend in Japan had helped to boost the dollar in early European trade, traders said.

The dollar fell as low as 88.01 yen on Wednesday, its weakest since January.

The euro EUR= slipped nearly half a percent to $1.4725, retreating from a two-week high around $1.4815 hit on Thursday.

European Central Bank President Jean-Claude Trichet said on Thursday U.S. support for a strong dollar was important and that excessive currency moves were unwelcome [ID:nL8111212]. His comments came after the ECB held interest rates at 1.0 percent.

The dollar index .DXY, which tracks the greenback against a basket of currencies, rose 0.4 percent to 76.250, above Thursday's 14-month low of 75.767.

High-yielding currencies gave up gains against the U.S. dollar, with the Australian and New Zealand dollars retreating from 14-month peaks touched the previous day.

The Norwegian crown hit a one-year high against the euro EURNOK=D4 of 8.2935 crowns after a faster-than-expected rise in consumer price inflation added to expectations the Norges Bank may raise interest rates later this month.


The dollar has been battered across the board for much of the year, in part due to speculation that it may eventually lose its status as the world's top reserve currency.

While officials from many countries have been stepping up their rhetoric against excessive currency appreciation in light of this, analysts said comments from the ECB suggest it may not be taking a strong a position on the euro at the moment.

This may keep euro/dollar under upward pressure, after the pair hit a one-year high of $1.4845 late last month, some in the market said.

"The ECB did not even offer much verbal resistance to ongoing euro appreciation at yesterday's press conference," analysts at Citi said in a note.

"Following hints of increased concern on the sidelines of the recent G7 meeting in Istanbul, this signals that price action is not yet pushing the ECB's pain threshold."

(Editing by Nigel Stephenson)

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