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Tuesday October 13, 2009 - 10:52:31 GMT
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FOREX NEWS-Dollar falls, euro above $1.48 as gold at new high

Tue Oct 13, 2009 6:38am EDT

* Dollar turns course and falls as gold hits new high

* Euro shrugs off surprise fall in ZEW to vault $1.48

* UK inflation weaker than expected, hits sterling

(Recasts, adds comment and quotes, updates prices)

By Jamie McGeever

LONDON, Oct 13 (Reuters) - The dollar fell against a basket of currencies to within sight of recent lows on Tuesday as gold hit a new high and commodity prices strengthened, lifting the euro above $1.48.

The euro had given back gains earlier in the session following a surprise fall in German investor morale but the dip provided a good buying opportunity for a market that remains broadly bearish on the dollar.

Gold rose above $1,065 an ounce XAU= and oil rose one percent above $74 a barrel CLc1. The dollar and commodities are often inversely correlated, with gold and oil priced in dollars and seen as an alternative currency and hard asset themselves.

The euro rose to within sight of last month's one-year high of $1.4842, as options dealers tested reported large barriers and expiries at $1.4850.

"The euro took a tumble on the back of a much weaker than expected German ZEW survey, though buyers quickly emerged lifting the euro back (above) the $1.4800 level," said Jane Foley, research director at Forex.com in London.

"Gold is essentially the antithesis of the dollar," said Neil Mellor, strategist at Bank of New York Mellon in London.

At 1030 GMT the euro was up 0.4 percent on the day at $1.4830 EUR=, with one Asian central bank in particular said to be a notable buyer on the break above $1.48.

The dollar index, a measure of the greenback's value against six currencies, was down a quarter of a percent on the day at 75.95 .DXY, within sight of its 14-month low of 75.767 struck last week.

The dollar was down a third of a percent against the yen at 89.60 yen JPY=, having earlier traded above 90 yuen.

FED TALK JUST TALK?

The euro had earlier hit a six and a half month high against sterling of 94.10 pence EURGBP= after the release of unexpectedly soft UK inflation data, before easing back on the fall in Germany's ZEW index. [ID:nLD325034]

But the ZEW-inspired euro weakness was brief, and the euro was last trading at 93.95 pence, up 0.5 percent on the day.

The U.S. dollar hit 14-month lows against the Canadian and Australian dollars, with both these so-called commodity currencies supported by gold and oil.

Ahead of U.S. corporate earnings figures and speeches from Federal Reserve officials later in the day, currency investors continued to weigh up the expected timing, pace and extent of when the U.S. central bank will tighten policy.

Expectations of continued earnings improvements were seen keeping investor focus on so-called riskier assets to the detriment of the yen and a more pronounced dollar recovery.

"Risk perception remains an important topic in the absence of a cyclical trend out of the United States. But I wouldn't expect any serious impact on the risk perception picture when liquidity remains very ample, so in this environment commodity currencies should continue to outperform," said Michael Klawitter, currency strategist at Commerzbank in Frankfurt.

Although U.S. central bank officials continue to warn of eventual policy tightening, this was only to put a lid on inflation expectations.

"They have to express a certain degree of hawkishness. But between that and actual action, there is a fairly large gap. Consequently, the dollar isn't getting any real meaningful support," Klawitter said.

Big corporate names to post earnings this week include Intel Corp (INTC.O: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) and Johnson & Johnson (JNJ.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) on Tuesday, JP Morgan Chase (JPM.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) on Wednesday, and Goldman Sachs (GS.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) and IBM (IBM.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) on Thursday. [SP500/WK] [RESF/US]

The greenback received a brief reprieve late last week and early on Monday after Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said on Thursday the U.S. central bank stood ready to tighten monetary policy once economic recovery took hold, prompting speculators to cover dollar shorts.

On Tuesday, Federal Reserve Bank of New York President William Dudley speaks at 1715 GMT while Fed Vice President Donald Kohn speaks on the economic outlook at 1745 GMT.

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