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Wednesday January 13, 2010 - 21:23:08 GMT
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FOREX NEWS - High yield commodity bloc units rally; yen falls

4:16pm EST

* Commodity currencies recover after China bank policy move

* German 2009 GDP shrinks 5.0 pct

* Euro little changed in New York trade (Recasts, updates prices, adds detail)

NEW YORK, Jan 13 (Reuters) - High-yielding currencies rallied on Wednesday, reversing losses in the prior session, as investors concluded China's unexpected monetary policy tightening would not derail the world's third-largest economy.

Commodity-linked currencies such as the Australian dollar recovered some losses but the market remained nervous that the withdrawal of liquidity may prompt unwinding of positions in riskier assets as economies recover and central banks focus on inflation risks.

"Commodity currencies are on a much better footing today, but what happened in China is a reminder that they are vulnerable," said Omer Esiner, senior market analyst at Travelex Global Business Payments in Washington.

Esiner said the reaction to China's measures Tuesday was too far, too fast and that with more thought, investors realized the impact of China's moves won't be detrimental to global economic growth.

In late afternoon trading in New York, the Australian dollar climbed 1 percent to 84.50 yen <AUDJPY=R> after its biggest daily drop in about eight weeks on Tuesday <AUDJPY=>. It also rose 0.4 percent to $0.9240 <AUD=> against the U.S. dollar, with traders noting sovereign demand facilitating the move.

The yen declined broadly, paring Tuesday's gains after China's central bank raised banks' required reserves ratio, a move which prompted investors to unwind yen-selling positions. For details, see [ID:nTOE60C032].

The dollar rose 0.5 percent to 91.43 yen <JPY=> after falling to 90.73 Tuesday. The euro was up 0.6 percent to 132.67 yen <EURJPY=R>.

The New Zealand dollar rose 0.2 percent at to US$0.7398 <NZD=> with the New Zealand currency climbing 0.7 percent against the yen to 67.65 yen <NZDJPY=R>.

GAINS CAPPED

The euro was last up 0.1 percent at $1.4508 <EUR=>, according to Reuters data. Earlier it hit $1.4582, its highest since Dec. 16. Traders said demand from Asian sovereign entities helped support the euro zone single currency as well as bullish technical indicators.

Currency "moves are also starting to take on some technical significance, with the euro and pound starting to break more clearly above their early January highs," said Nick Bennenbroek, head of currency strategy at Wells Fargo Bank in New York, in a client note.

Still, euro gains were capped as data showed the German economy contracted more than expected in 2009. [ID:nLDE60C0G9]

The dollar index <.DXY>, which tracks the performance of the greenback versus a basket of six major currencies, was little changed after dropping to its lowest since mid-December earlier in the session.

Analysts said the focus may turn now to the U.S. corporate earnings season, which ramps up this week, and reports on U.S. retail sales and weekly jobless claims Thursday.

A Federal Reserve report showing U.S. economic activity remained at a low level as 2010 began but was improving modestly and beginning to broaden out to include wider swaths of the country had limited impact on trading. [ID:nWEQ003729]

Similarly, a U.S. Treasury Department report showing the United States racked up a $91.85 billion budget deficit in December, a record for the month and marking a record 15th straight month of government deficits, was largely overlooked.

STERLING RISES

Sterling rose as high as $1.6306 <GBP=>, its highest since mid-December, after Bank of England policymaker Andrew Sentance said in a newspaper interview that the central bank was close to holding back on stimulus. [ID:nLDE60C09R] It last traded up 0.7 percent at $1.6286.

The pound was also boosted after UK industrial production data came in stronger than expected. [ID:nLDE60C0UA]

The Swiss franc briefly dipped against the euro to 1.4804 francs, as traders cited talk of bids from the Bank for International Settlements, which sometimes acts in the currency market for individual countries' central banks. The euro was last up 0.2 percent at 1.4773 francs <EURCHF=>. (Reporting by Nick Olivari and Vivianne Rodrigues; Additional reporting by Neal Armstrong in London; Editing by James Dalgleish)

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