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Monday October 12, 2009 - 20:33:49 GMT
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FOREX NEWS-Dollar dips vs euro; investors eye U.S. earnings

Mon Oct 12, 2009 4:29pm EDT

* Euro recovers to trade higher vs dollar

* Investors brace for better-than-expected U.S. earnings

* Trading volatile on U.S. federal government holiday

* Sterling slammed on report rates to stay low (Updates prices, adds detail)

By Steven C. Johnson

NEW YORK, Oct 12 (Reuters) - The U.S. dollar was mostly lower on Monday as investors shunned it for higher-yielding currencies and assets in the belief U.S. corporate earnings, especially at some top banks, will exceed expectations.

Some investors sell the dollar against other currencies when economic optimism grows and buy assets like stocks and commodities instead.

Hopes for stronger earnings, and confidence in a global recovery pushed U.S. crude oil higher CLX9, and shares on Wall Street chalked up their sixth straight day of gains.

However, volume was light and many traders took the day off with the U.S. government closed for Columbus Day and Canada out for Thanksgiving.

Tokyo was also shuttered for a one-day holiday.

"It's a quiet start to the week given the holiday and the market is positioning for some of the financial earnings," said Joe Manimbo, a currency trader at Travelex Global Business Payments in Washington.

Of particular interest will be results from JPMorgan Chase & Co (JPM.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) and Goldman Sachs Group Inc (GS.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) slated for later this week.[RESF/US].

The euro rose 0.4 percent to $1.4780 EUR= and 0.4 percent to 132.77 yen EURJPY=R, while the dollar fell 0.5 percent to 1.0266 Swiss francs CHF=.

The dollar was little changed at 89.83 yen JPY= but sterling hit a five-month low at $1.5729 after a report said UK interest rates would stay at rock-bottom levels until 2011 and not hit 2 percent until 2014. For details, see [ID:nLB53176]

The pound was last down 0.2 percent at $1.5798 GBP=.

The dollar got a boost on Friday and bond yields rose after Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke reiterated that the central bank will be ready to raise interest rates and withdraw money from the system once an economic recovery takes hold.

Hopes the Fed might hike interest rates sooner than expected faded on Monday, with the euro briefly moving back above $1.48, within striking distance of the 2009 high around $1.4842.

"As investors rethink the Bernanke comments, they ponder what might cause an acceleration of (interest rate increases) from the Fed and realize that there is nothing to do so," said Andrew Wilkinson, senior analyst at Interactive Brokers Group in Greenwich, Connecticut.

He said that means the euro should retest annual highs on its way to $1.50, a level not seen since August of 2008.

The same appears to hold for the Canadian dollar, which hit a fresh 14-month high against the greenback on Monday. The U.S. dollar was last down 0.7 percent at C$1.0351 CAD=.

Some investors fear record U.S. deficits and the risk of inflation posed by super-loose monetary and fiscal policy will undermine the dollar and push up long-term interest rates.

That also worries foreign central banks who fear that their own economies will suffer if their currencies get too strong against the U.S. dollar and choke off exports.

St. Louis Federal Reserve President James Bullard added to the debate on Sunday, saying medium-term inflation risks in the U.S. economy could be higher than thought.

(Additional reporting by Nick Olivari) (Editing by Andrew Hay)

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