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Friday November 13, 2009 - 10:55:29 GMT
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FOREX NEWS-Euro up vs weaker dollar after EZ GDP data

Fri Nov 13, 2009 5:49am EST

* Euro up vs dlr as euro zone pulls out of recession in Q3

* Dollar falls broadly, paring some of previous day's gains

* US President Obama kicks off Asia tour; FX in focus (Updates prices, changes byline, dateline; previous TOKYO)

By Jessica Mortimer

LONDON, Nov 13 (Reuters) - The dollar fell on Friday, paring some of the previous day's gains, while the euro garnered support from data showing the euro zone pulled out of recession in the third quarter.

The euro zone economy returned to growth in the three months to the end of September, although the quarterly rise of 0.4 percent was slightly less than expected after the area's top three economies fell short of market forecasts. [ID:nLD681404]

"It's encouraging to see that the euro zone has returned to growth in the third quarter," said RBS currency strategist Paul Robson.

The euro also benefited from falls in the dollar, which pared some of the previous day's gains following a bout of profit-taking in perceived riskier currencies, with most in the market believing the trend towards a weaker dollar remains intact.

"Data out of China has been robust and policymakers around the world have indicated that they will keep monetary policy loose, which is broadly supportive of higher-yielding and commodity-related currencies," RBS's Robson said.

Markets will now be watching for the release of University of Michigan U.S. consumer confidence data at 1455 GMT, as well as a speech by European Central Bank Governing Council member Axel Weber in Berlin at 1315 GMT. ECON [M/DIARY]

At 1031 GMT, the euro had gained 0.2 percent to $1.4872 EUR=. The single currency fell 1 percent on Thursday, coming under pressure due to broad dollar strength and as sources said Germany could be set to inject capital into WestLB [WDLG.UL]. [ID:nLC139834]

The dollar index .DXY, a gauge of the greenback's performance against six major currencies, fell 0.2 percent to 75.444 after rising as high as 75.767 on Thursday.

This leaves it comfortably above a 15-month low of 74.774, but the U.S. currency remains within a well-defined downtrend channel that stretches back to May.

"The dollar short-covering seems to be losing steam and the dollar bear market looks like it's coming back. But it's hard to bet on a certain direction and build large positions now," said Jun Kato, senior chief analyst at Shinkin Central Bank Research Institute in Tokyo.

Among perceived riskier currencies, the Australian dollar AUD=D4 gained 0.5 percent against the dollar to $0.9274 while the New Zealand dollar NZD=D4 was up 0.5 percent at $0.7362.

Against the yen, the dollar also fell 0.6 percent JPY= to 89.80 yen.

"General risk appetite is likely to be the driver, with currency markets looking to equity and commodity markets," said Sverre Holbek, currency strategist at Danske Bank in Copenhagen.

Currency markets will also be following U.S. President Barack Obama's first official tour of Asia as speculation grew that this could generate pressure on some countries -- China in particular -- to let their currencies rise. [ID:nSP396654]

High on the agenda will be U.S. calls for Asian countries to do more to stimulate domestic demand instead of relying on exports to America, though dealers and analysts were sceptical that any change would happen soon.

"With the APEC summit having concluded, but President Obama arriving in Asia for his first visit as President, Asia currency flexibility will be in focus in coming days," ING analysts said in a note to clients. (Additional reporting by Kaori Kaneko in Tokyo)

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