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Thursday October 15, 2009 - 21:42:37 GMT
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FOREX NEWS-Dollar gains vs yen as data prompts profit-taking

 

Thu Oct 15, 2009 4:08pm EDT

* U.S. data provides cover for dollar profit-taking

* Outlook for dovish Fed continues to weigh on dollar

* Sterling soars as BoE official says policies working (Updates prices, adds details)

By Steven C. Johnson

NEW YORK, Oct 15 (Reuters) - The dollar rose against the yen and recouped some recent losses against the Canadian dollar on Thursday after encouraging U.S. data prompted some profit-taking on the greenback's recent slide.

The euro, though, swung between gains and losses and remained near a 14-month peak above $1.49 as investors debated when the Federal Reserve will raise U.S. interest rates from current record lows near zero.

Minutes from the Fed's last meeting showed officials don't see inflation as an imminent risk, suggesting interest rates may stay low for some time. In that case, investors should continue to favor higher-yield currencies over the greenback.

This outlook has helped push the dollar down about 2 percent against a basket of major currencies over the past two weeks .DXY. It has lost about 7 percent so far this year.

A report showing U.S. consumer prices rose a modest 0.2 percent last month bolstered the Fed's case, though other data muddied the outlook a bit. New applications for jobless benefits fell to a nine-month low, and New York state manufacturing reached a five-year high.

"Many major currencies have rallied to significant levels against the dollar, and there's not enough momentum to sustain those moves today in the face of stronger U.S. data," said Kathy Lien, director of research at GFT Forex in New York.

The dollar rose 1.5 percent to 90.66 yen JPY=, its highest in three weeks, after slipping to 89.28 overnight. The euro dipped to $1.4840 but recovered to $1.4932 EUR=, little changed from Wednesday and not far from a 14-month high of $1.4967.

Sterling soared 1.8 percent to $1.6266 GBP= after Bank of England policymaker Paul Fisher told the Financial Times he felt more confident the central bank's asset purchase program was working. For more see [ID:nLE413216].

Sterling jumped more than 3 percent to 147.42 yen GBPJPY= while the euro fell 1.8 percent to 91.77 pence EURGBP=.

The dollar rose 1 percent against the Canadian dollar to C$1.0345 CAD= after hitting a 15-month low just above $1.02.

The greenback remained near a 14-month low at $0.9197 per Australian dollar AUD= after Australia's central bank chief Glenn Stevens hinted at more interest rate rises as economic recovery takes hold. The RBA lifted rates last week. [ID:nSYD397384]

DOLLAR UPS AND DOWNS AHEAD

Some analysts said more profit-taking may be on the cards, particularly if the euro fails to retest the $1.4967 level and makes a further push to $1.50.

Beyond that, though, most said they expected further dollar weakness. Goldman Sachs currency strategists this week cut their dollar forecasts against most majors. They now see the euro at $1.55 in three and six months, up from $1.45 earlier, though they predict a relapse to $1.35 over the next 12 months.

"Everyone is short (dollars), and this is a legitimate risk," said David Gilmore, partner at Foreign Exchange Analytics in Essex, Connecticut.

But, he added, "this is one of those rare markets when extreme supply and demand imbalances are sustainable," at least through year end and possibly into early 2010. (Additional reporting by Nick Olivari; Editing by James Dalgleish)

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