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Thursday November 19, 2009 - 12:58:03 GMT
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FOREX NEWS-Dollar, yen gain as investors trim risk exposure

Thu Nov 19, 2009 7:51am EST

* Euro falls below 132 yen, down 1.4 pct on day EURJPY=R

* Shares, commodities fall, weighing further on sentiment

* Aussie hits 2-wk low vs dlr; kiwi falls 2 pct vs dlr, yen

(Updates prices)

By Jessica Mortimer

LONDON, Nov 19 (Reuters) - The dollar and the yen rose on Thursday as equity and commodity markets fell, encouraging investors to pare back exposure to risk and buy back the two low-yielders against perceived riskier currencies.

The euro fell more than 1 percent against the yen while the higher-yielding commodity-linked Australian and New Zealand dollars slid as traders took profit from carry trades.

Analysts said some investors were already taking risk off the table heading into the year end, wary that the recent rally in risky assets may have been overdone and that economic data has not been as rosy as forecast.

A senior economic advisor to the German government highlighted these concerns as he told Reuters Television that Germany could face a double-dip recession in late 2010 or early 2011 as extra public spending is withdrawn. [ID:nWEA1984]

Analysts said investors were also wary of emerging market countries looking at capital controls to limit some of the hot money flows into their economies, with new steps announced by Brazil and South Korea. [ID:nN18128104] [ID:nSEO366]

"Though it's hard to point to any specific factor today, there are some indications of a rise in risk aversion - stocks have come off and there are slight concerns that a lot of data recently has not been living up to expectations," Standard Bank currency analyst Steve Barrow said.

By 1231 GMT, the dollar index .DXY, a measure of its performance against a basket of six currencies, rose 0.4 percent to 75.524, after a 15-month low of 74.679 on Tuesday.

The euro fell 0.7 percent against the dollar to $1.4848 EUR=. It remained within the range of a large $1.48-$1.51 "double no touch" options structure expiring Friday.

The single currency also slid to a two-week low of 131.82 yen EURJPY=R, as losses accelerated after breaking technical support at the 200-day moving average of around 132.00.

The dollar fell 0.5 percent JPY= to 88.85 yen.


The Australian dollar fell 1.4 percent AUD=D4 to hit a two-week low of $0.9154, while the New Zealand dollar was the most underperforming currency, losing as much as 2.4 percent to hit lows of $0.7280 NZD=D4 and 64.73 yen NZDJPY=R

"The focus is very much on risk sentiment because we don't have any major events on the agenda, plus the market is a little more sensitive going into the year-end, with people wanting to protect their positions," said Niels Christensen, currency strategist at Nordea in Copenhagen.

European equities were down 0.8 percent, falling for the third consecutive session, while oil CLc1 fell 1 percent and gold XAU= prices retreated from record highs.

Analysts said comments from the main opposition party leader in New Zealand that it would seek to change a policy that sets the central bank's main role as controlling inflation through interest rates added to the kiwi's fall. [ID:nWEL486009]

The market will watch U.S. jobless benefit claims for the week ended Nov. 14, due at 1330 GMT, to see if the labour market is stabilising. Economists in a Reuters survey forecast 505,000 new filings compared with 502,000 the week before. (Additional reporting by Tamawa Desai; Editing by Toby Chopra)

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