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Monday November 2, 2009 - 11:35:06 GMT
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FOREX NEWS-Euro gains vs dollar, yen; Aussie up before RBA

Mon Nov 2, 2009 6:26am EST

* Euro gains vs dollar, yen, buoyed by euro zone PMI data

* Aussie up ahead of expected RBA rate hike; U.S. ISM eyed

* U.S., euro zone and UK policy decisions later in the week

(Updates prices, adds quotes)

By Jessica Mortimer

LONDON, Nov 2 (Reuters) - The euro rose against the dollar and the yen on Monday, buoyed by euro zone data confirming an expansion in manufacturing activity, while the Australian dollar rose ahead of an expected rate hike.

A purchasing managers' survey showed the euro zone manufacturing sector expanded for the first time in 17 months during October as new orders reached a level not seen in more than two years. [ID:nL2310831]

This helped the euro extend gains after earlier rising along with higher-yielding and perceived higher risk currencies such as the Australian and New Zealand dollars after data underscored the strength of China's manufacturing sector. [ID:nSEO80466]

Attention turned to the release of the latest U.S. ISM manufacturing survey at 1500 GMT, expected to show expansion in the sector for the second month in a row. ECONUS

Investors were cautious, however, ahead of a very busy week, with policy decisions due in Australia, the United States, the euro zone and the UK, key U.S. jobs data on Friday and a meeting of Group of 20 finance officials at the weekend.

Some officials in Europe and countries such as Canada have voiced concerns over the strength of their currencies. But G20 sources said on Monday that foreign exchange rates were not expected to be a major topic. [ID:nL2324375]

"The market is quite thin and there are a lot of big events coming up, a lot of risk news flow. Ahead of that we are likely to get some position switching after Friday's month-end fixes saw the dollar and the yen well bid," said Peter Frank, currency strategist at Societe Generale in London.

By 1047 GMT, the euro was up 0.4 percent at $1.4769, recovering some of the losses made on Friday when it fell more than 0.8 percent.

The euro rose 0.4 percent against the yen to 133.14 yen EURJPY=R while the dollar JPY= edged up 0.1 percent to 90.12 yen.

The yen had risen as high as 89.18 yen per dollar on trading platform EBS in early Asian trade, with traders citing an earlier very low trade in South African rand against the yen, which had a knock-on effect on all yen pairs.


The Australian dollar enjoyed sharp gains as the market fully anticipated a 25 basis point Reserve Bank rate hike to 3.5 percent, with some chance of a 50 basis point rise. [ID:nSYD436754]

Underlining these expectations, Australia upgraded its economic and fiscal outlook on Monday, while data showed house prices jumped to a record high last quarter, a stark contrast to countries like the United States and Britain. [ID:nSP467643]

"Whilst another 25 basis point increase (from the RBA) is already priced in to the Australian dollar, as long as the rhetoric from the Bank remains hawkish, still signalling more hikes to come ... the currency should remain well supported," Calyon analysts said in a note.

The Australian dollar rose 0.6 percent against the dollar to $0.9043 and by more than 1 percent against the yen to 81.50 yen, having earlier fallen to about 79.45 yen.

After the RBA, attention will switch to the Federal Reserve's rate setting committee. It meets on Tuesday and Wednesday and is expected to keep rates unchanged, though there has been speculation it may tweak its pledge to keep rates extraordinarily low for an "extended period". [nN01437140]

Decisions follow on Thursday in the euro zone and in the UK, where the focus will be on whether the Bank of England will increase its asset-purchase programme to give the economy a boost. [ECB/INT] [BOE/INT]

Sterling was broadly lower, trading down 0.3 percent against the dollar GBP=D4 at $1.6366 while the euro rose 0.7 percent to 90.07 pence EURGBP=D4 as falls in UK banking stocks offset a stronger-than-forecast UK manufacturing PMI survey.

(Reporting by Jessica Mortimer, editing by Nigel Stephenson)

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