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Thursday September 2, 2010 - 10:04:56 GMT
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FOREX NEWS - Euro supported by bond auctions; ECB eyed

FOREX-Euro supported by bond auctions; ECB eyed

5:53am EDT

* Euro recovers from lows, up 0.1 pct at $1.2826 EUR=

* ECB seen extending offer of unlimited funds

* Sweden's Riksbank raises rates as expected

* Investors hesitant before U.S. jobs data

(Releads, adds quote, updates prices)

By Tamawa Desai

LONDON, Sept 2 (Reuters) - The euro edged up on Thursday on healthy results at Spanish and French bond auctions but investors' appetite for risk was tempered ahead of a European Central Bank policy meeting later in the day and U.S. jobs data Friday.

The euro hit a session high of $1.2837 after the results [ID:nMDT009313], recovering from a session low of $1.2777 hit in early European trading. By 0935 GMT, it was up 0.1 percent at $1.2826 EUR=.

"A few people were sitting long euro on anticipation of good auctions," one London-based trader said.

Market players were wary of chasing prices aggressively ahead of the ECB meeting, where they expect the central bank to keep its benchmark refinancing rate at 1.0 percent and extend lending support for banks despite raising its economic growth forecasts. [ID:nLDE6420RY]

If those assumptions prove right, "the euro can probably edge up to $1.2850 and perhaps even $1.2900/2920," said Chris Turner, head of FX strategy at ING.

Traders will be watching to see whether ECB President Jean-Claude Trichet, who is due to hold a news conference at 1230 GMT, makes a formal decision to extend liquidity to help the banking system and whether he reiterates a cautious stance on the economic outlook after robust second-quarter figures. Revised second-quarter euro zone growth data was unchanged at 1.0 percent. [ID:nBRL2KE64X]

The next target for the euro was around $1.2873 -- a 38.2 percent Fibonacci retracement of its fall from its August peak of $1.3334 to its August low of $1.2588. The target after that would be $1.2923, touched on Aug. 18.

The Swedish crown rose to its highest in more than two years against the euro around 9.2955 EURSEK=D4 after Sweden's central bank as expected raised its key interest rate to 0.75 percent. [ID:nSAT008761]


The dollar slipped against the yen, and was down 0.4 percent to 84.08 yen JPY=, moving towards a 15-year low of 83.58 yen hit last week.

The yen showed limited reaction to Japanese political heavyweight Ichiro Ozawa saying action was needed to stem rapid rises in the yen. Ozawa is pitted against Prime Minister Naoto Kan in a party leadership race that could lead to him taking over the premiership. [ID:nTKF106994]

The dollar index, a gauge of the greenback's performance against a basket of six major currencies, fell 0.2 percent at 82.351 .DXY after falling 0.8 percent on Wednesday, its biggest one-day fall in six weeks. Support was seen at the Aug. 18 low of 81.912.

Upbeat U.S. and Chinese manufacturing data on Wednesday had lured investors away from perceived safe-haven assets, lifting stocks, commodities and higher-yielding currencies.

"With so much uncertainty, the market is very volatile and moves depend on the daily data flow," said Lee Hardman, currency economist at Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ. "In the longer term, the outlook still is unfavourable for risk assets with the U.S. economy in a soft patch."

Data on Wednesday showed U.S. private employers unexpectedly cut jobs in August, boding ill for the closely watched non-farm payrolls report on Friday, which is expected to show a fall of 100,000 in August. (Additional reporting by Jessica Mortimer; Editing by Patrick Graham)

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