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Thursday June 3, 2010 - 10:18:27 GMT
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FOREX NEWS - Dollar falls on risk demand, euro edges up

5:56am EDT

* Euro rises, higher-risk currencies rally on risk demand

* Yen suffers, JP FinMin Kan seen taking over as PM

* Investors brace for strong U.S. payrolls on Friday

(Adds comment, details, updates price)

By Naomi Tajitsu

LONDON, June 3 (Reuters) - The dollar fell across the board on Thursday as a rise in share markets on the back of strong U.S. economic data helped to cool extreme risk aversion.

The yen suffered against its major rivals as the Japanese currency, which is perceived to be low risk due to its low yield, also took a hit from improving risk appetite.

Speculation that there would be a strong reading of U.S. jobs data due on Friday prompted demand for riskier currencies, pushing the Australian and New Zealand dollars higher and supporting even the euro, which has been plagued by euro zone debt problems.

"Equity markets are looking better today," said Marcus Hettinger, global currency strategist at Credit Suisse in Zurich. "At least for today, we're seeing some stabilisation in risk appetite."

Stock markets around the world have been stabilising after deep losses last month on concerns about Greece's debt woes.

European shares .FTEU3 rose roughly 2 percent, pulling further away from a nine-month low hit last week.

Investors took heart from U.S. data released on Wednesday, which showed surprisingly strong pending home sales for April and a jump in May auto sales. [ID:nN02180660]

By 0936 GMT, the euro traded 0.3 percent higher on the day at $1.2285, near the day's high of $1.2326. The single currency has found its footing after sliding as low as $1.2110 on Tuesday, its weakest in more than four years. Gains in the euro and other currencies, including the Australian dollar AUD=D4 and the New Zealand dollar NZD=D4, which each rallied 1 percent versus their U.S. counterpart, pushed the U.S. dollar index .DXY down 0.3 percent to 86.555.

Despite its broad losses, the dollar JPY= edged up 0.5 percent to 92.79 yen, its strongest in roughly two weeks. The yen came under general selling pressure, helping to push the euro 1 percent higher to 114.17 yen.

In addition to risk demand, traders also took speculation that Japan's next prime minister would take a tougher stance in fighting the yen's strength as an opportunity to trim long positions in the yen, market participants said. [ID:nTOE65100Q]


Expectations of a strong U.S. payrolls report on Friday also helped to whet the market's appetite for riskier assets. A Reuters poll shows 513,000 jobs were created in May. [ID:nN02176933]

Some economists are anticipating an even stronger figure, with BNP Paribas upgrading its forecast to +615,000, while U.S. President Barack Obama also added to optimism, saying on Wednesday the report would show strong growth [ID:nN02175839]

But given such lofty expectations, analysts at Paribas said caution would be required going into the data given the heavy bullish positioning.

"The market may be setting itself up for some near-term volatility with the risk that investors are becoming overly bullish on the labour market report with a 'buy the rumour sell the fact' scenario appearing to build," they said in a note.

A trimming of some extreme short positions in the euro has helped to stabilise the currency, but some analysts warn its downtrend remains intact, and that it would remain vulnerable to any signs that more euro zone nations are struggling from deficit and banking problems.

Euro/dollar implied volatility was at around 15.5 percent EUR1MO=, retreating from a 14-month high of 19 percent hit in late May, when escalating risk aversion prompted volatile trade.

But even as markets have calmed since then, overall euro sentiment remains bearish.

One-month 25 delta risk reversals EUR1MRR=ICAP, a barometer for short-term fear among speculators and hedge funds, remain bid for more euro downside, trading at 2.85 on Thursday. (Editing by Jason Webb)

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