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Thursday August 26, 2010 - 10:53:21 GMT
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FOREX NEWS - Euro rises, supported by higher European shares

6:40am EDT

* Euro hits day's high vs dlr, yen as European shares rise

* Yen edges further away from multi-year highs vs dlr, euro

* Traders cautious of yen intervention, await Fed gathering

(Adds comment, details, updates prices)

By Naomi Tajitsu

LONDON, Aug 26 (Reuters) - The euro rose on Thursday as a rise in global share prices prompted investors to pick up riskier currencies, but gains were capped as more weak U.S. economic data indicated the pace of recovery was slowing.

The yen slipped, pulling further away from multi-year lows against the dollar and the euro, as investors speculated whether Bank of Japan Governor Masaaki Shirakawa will comment on the yen or monetary policy at a Federal Reserve retreat this week.

European shares .FTEU3 rose 0.6 percent, clawing back from a five-week low on forecast-beating results and tracking a rise in U.S. and Asian markets.

"The market is still looking at stocks and how the ongoing correlation between risky assets and euro/dollar holds up, and it still seems to be holding up well," said Jeremy Stretch, head of currency strategy at CIBC.

He added that "bottom fishing" was a driver in the rise in stock prices after U.S. shares edged up on Wednesday even after a slide in new home sales and weak durable goods orders.

Analysts say weak U.S. jobless claims data on Thursday may press share markets lower, and drive the euro down.

Increasing concerns about a global economic slowdown in the past few months have pushed the yen and the Swiss franc higher due to their perceived safe-haven status. The euro hovered near an all-time low versus the Swiss franc hit the previous day.

The euro EUR= hit a session high of $1.2746 before pulling back to around $1.2715 by 1013 GMT. It hovered above a six-week trough hit earlier in the week.

Traders said buying by a semi-official European name under $1.2700 and Middle East demand were supporting the single currency. Options were due to expire at $1.2700 and this was helping to keep the single currency around that level.

Gains in the euro helped push the dollar .DXY down 0.4 percent against a currency basket.

The euro poked above its 55-day and 100-day moving averages at $1.2713 and $1.2737 respectively. A close above these levels would add to upward momentum. Technical analysts saw support at $1.2605, the 50 percent retracement of its June-July rally.

Against the yen, the euro EURJPY=R traded 0.5 percent higher at 107.52 yen, extending its recovery from a nine-year low of 105.44 yen hit on Tuesday.

The Japanese currency also slipped against the dollar JPY=, which rose slightly on the day to 84.60 yen, having moved in a narrow range of 84.49-84.90 yen all day.

Earlier this week it hit a 15-year low of 83.58 yen as investors tested whether Japanese authorities would go beyond trying to talk down the yen.


Traders said the dollar/yen and cross/yen were rising partly on short covering due to caution about possible Japanese intervention, while many investors were sidelined. News Shirakawa will attend the Kansas City Federal Reserve conference in Jackson Hole, this week has made some players hesitant to push the yen higher. [ID:nTKV006403]

"Shirakawa is likely to speak to (Federal Reserve Chairman Ben) Bernanke and other central bankers in Jackson Hole, and that is prompting market players to speculate about possible Japanese action," said Hideki Amikura, deputy general manager of the forex section at Nomura Trust and Banking in Tokyo.

Speculation has grown that Japan may intervene to stem the yen's rise for the first time since March 2004. It hit an all-time high of 79.75 to the dollar in 1995.

Bernanke will speak in Jackson Hole on Friday, and is likely to signal his views about the U.S. economy, but analysts say he is unlikely to offer clues to the Fed's policy outlook.

(Additional reporting by Tokyo Forex Team; editing by Nigel Stephenson)

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