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Monday April 5, 2010 - 13:45:51 GMT
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FOREX NEWS-Dollar falls versus yen after more than 7-month high

9:23am EDT

* Dollar/yen rises as high as 94.78 on EBS before easing

* Traders take profits on dollar gains after US job report

* Markets closely watch moves in Chinese yuan

By Wanfeng Zhou

NEW YORK, April 5 (Reuters) - The U.S. dollar fell against the Japanese yen on Monday as traders opted to book profits after the greenback rallied to its highest in more than seven months.

The dollar, however, gained versus the euro, with markets in the UK and most euro zone countries closed for a holiday.

The dollar earlier rose to near 95 yen after Friday's solid U.S. jobs data boosted optimism about the U.S. economy and lifted Treasury yields. But traders said speculators trimmed yen shorts after turning their positions against the yen aggressively.

"Dollar/yen had been the biggest beneficiary of the strong jobs data but has kind of pared some of its overnight gains," said Omer Esiner, senior analyst at Travelex Global Business Payments in Washington.

"There's definitely some scope for profit-taking here given the impressive run-up in dollar/yen that we've seen since the end of March," he added.

Overall trading in the foreign-exchange market was subdued, traders said, as markets in Australia, New Zealand and China were also closed on Monday for holidays.

In early New York trading, the dollar was down 0.2 percent at 94.39 yen <JPY=>. It had earlier hit as high as 94.78 yen on electronic trading platform EBS, the highest since late August 2009.

Traders said the dollar is likely to find new resistance around 95.10 yen -- a 61.8 percent retracement of its fall from a high in April 2009 of 101.45 to a 14-year low of 84.82 yen hit in late November.

"After breaking decisively above the January high of 93.78 yen and other strong chart resistance, technically dollar/yen is clearly in a bullish trend," said Minoru Shioiri, chief manager of foreign exchange trading at Mitsubishi UFJ Securities. "But for many players the dollar looks too high to bet more on the currency."

The euro last traded 0.1 percent lower at $1.3492 <EUR=>.


A jump in private-sector hiring in Friday's jobs report led traders to guess the Federal Reserve may raise the discount rate again on Monday when it meets, providing support to the dollar. [ID:nN01126422]

Many analysts, however, downplayed the significance of the upcoming Fed board meeting since it is held every other Monday and is not the closely watched Federal Open Market Committee meeting.

Later in the session, data on the U.S. non-manufacturing sector and pending home sales will be released.

Market players said they were also watching moves in the Chinese yuan after U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said on Saturday that he will delay an April 15 report on whether China manipulates its currency. The decision came ahead of a visit by Chinese President Hu Jintao to Washington for a nuclear security summit next week. [ID:nN03183056]

"The U.S. decision not to point a finger at China should be taken as Washington's way to prompt China to voluntarily raise the value of the yuan," said Yasutoshi Nagai, chief economist at Daiwa Securities Capital Markets.

The yuan, however, barely reacted in offshore forward Asian markets on Monday. There was a marginal increase in market expectations for the currency to appreciate in yuan non-deliverable forwards <CNYNDFOR=>, and that spurred a slight rise in yuan near-term volatility. See [ID:nSGE634055]

One-year NDFs moved from 6.645 per dollar to around 6.6325, which implied an appreciation of about 2.9 percent in a year's time. (Additional reporting by Satomi Noguchi in Tokyo; Editing by Padraic Cassidy)

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