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Monday April 19, 2010 - 10:32:53 GMT
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FOREX NEWS - Yen up on risk aversion after Goldman; euro slips

6:22am EDT

* Yen advances as Goldman charges prompt risk sell-off

* Euro down around 1 percent versus yen at 123.35 yen

* Single currency slips as EU/IMF meeting on Greece delayed

(Adds quote, detail)

By Neal Armstrong

LONDON, April 19 (Reuters) - The low-yielding yen rose versus the euro on Monday as fears over fraud charges against Goldman Sachs and concerns over a delayed EU/IMF meeting on Greece prompted investors to cut their exposure to risk.

Financial markets were rattled after the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission charged Goldman Sachs Group Inc <GS.N> with fraud on Friday in connection with a debt product tied to subprime mortgages. [ID:nN16121493]

Stocks fell and benchmark government bonds and less risky currencies rose.

"People are buying yen on the back of increasing risk aversion. It's risk-off on the Goldman news and worries over this week's EU/IMF meeting on Greece. That's also hitting the euro," said Michael Hewson, analyst at CMC markets.

Investors are worried about how a a European Union- International Monetary Fund aid plan to help Greece avoid a debt default might be implemented.

Talks with EU and IMF officials, expected to start on Monday, were delayed to later in the week due to the volcanic ash cloud disrupting flights across Europe, Greece said. [ID:nLDE63H0MA]

At 0925 GMT, the euro traded down close to 1 percent versus the yen at 123.35 yen <EURJPY=R> after shedding around 1.5 percent late on Friday when the Goldman charges were announced.

Traders said the 61.8 percent retracement of the February to April rally was the next support level at 122.75.

The euro <EUR=> traded down around 0.5 percent at $1.3428, its lowest in just over a week.


The premium investors demand to buy Greek government bonds rather than German benchmarks rose to record levels on Monday as uncertainty over the aid package unsettled investors. [ID:nLDE63I0O2]

"Any confidence which had been instilled by last week's EU/IMF aid package appears to have completely fizzled out," said Tom Levinson, FX strategist at ING.

The dollar gained favour on safe-haven demand, strengthening against a basket of currencies <.DXY> to trade up around 0.4 percent at 81.166, although it remains well below a 10-month high of 82.240 set in March.

Against the yen, <JPY=> the dollar fell around 0.5 percent to trade at 91.80 yen. Technical analysts saw the next support at the 200-day moving average at 91.35.

"Dollar and yen outperformance will be the dominant theme until there is some clarity on Goldman," said ING's Levinson.

The higher-yielding Australian dollar <AUD=D4> fell further to trade at $0.9165 after shedding 1.5 percent on Friday

The Aussie briefly dipped below 84.00 yen <AUDJPY=R>, hitting its lowest level since March 29.

Losses in Asian equity markets also hit the Aussie, with the Shanghai Composite closing down nearly 5 percent on the day <.SSEC>. European stocks <.FTEU3> were also negative following losses in US stocks <.SPX> on Friday after the Goldman charges.

The pound <GBP=D4> fell 0.9 percent to $1.5225 on persistent concerns Britain's general election will produce no clear winner. Opinion polls ahead of the May 6 vote indicate growing support for the Liberal Democrats, the third party in the race. [ID:63H0G1]

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