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Tuesday September 14, 2010 - 20:07:09 GMT
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REFILE-FOREX-Dollar sells off after breaking technical levels

REFILE-FOREX-Dollar sells off after breaking technical levels

3:54pm EDT

* Yen at new 15-year high against dollar

* Euro/dollar soars through resistance to 1-month high

* U.S. dollar falls below parity vs Swiss franc

(Refiles to clarify Goldman Sachs comment was reiterated in published reports in paragraghs 8 and 10.)

NEW YORK, Sept 14 (Reuters) - The U.S. dollar fell sharply against major currencies on Tuesday, touching a 15-year low below 83 yen as a break of technical support levels in several pairs sparked a stampede out of the U.S. currency.

With concerns growing about intervention by Japanese authorities to weaken the yen, the Japanese currency in particular got a boost after Japan's prime minister won a leadership vote. Prime Minister Naoto Kan won an unexpectedly decisive victory over party heavyweight Ichiro Ozawa who had been more strident in his calls to intervene to weaken the yen. For more, see: [ID:nTOE68D06W]

A rally by the euro to a one-month peak against the dollar also grabbed traders' attention after it broke out of its range of the past six weeks on the upside amid market talk about possible further quantitative easing by the Federal Reserve in a bid to stimulate the U.S. economy.

"It seems people are vacating dollar positions today and that money is shifting into other safe-haven assets for the time being -- the yen, the Swiss franc, gold and U.S. Treasuries," said Greg Salvaggio, vice president of trading at Tempus Consulting in Washington.

But Salvaggio said he would be selling euros anywhere near $1.30 and buying dollar-yen below 83 on the belief the U.S. economy is beginning to turn the corner.

The euro's advance began after U.S. retail sales rose more than expected in August, notching the largest gain in five months. [ID:nN13206701]. Once the euro broke above $1.2920-30 area, the level that was the top of the range since August, it kept going to a one-month high of $1.3033 EUR=. It was last up 1.1 percent at 1.3019.

The significant break came in late morning New York trade on market talk that Goldman Sachs said in a research note that while it suspects the Federal Reserve will ratchet down growth forecasts, the revision is unlikely to be enough to spark additional easing.

The Wall Street Journal quoted Goldman Sachs chief U.S. economist Jan Hatzius on Tuesday reiterating the bank's view on quantitative easing.

The euro was up 0.2 percent at 108.04 yen EURJPY=.

The Goldman note talk also pushed the dollar index .DXY, that measures the dollar's performance against six currencies, below the 200-day simple moving average for the first time since August 10, according to Reuters data.

Amid broad dollar woes, the Australian dollar surged to its highest against its U.S. counterpart since mid-2008 after breaching an important technical level. It was last at $0.9448, up 1.0 percent from late Monday. The move accelerated after the currency broke above a recent high around $0.9365.


The dollar fell to a 15-year low of 82.92 on electronic trading platform EBS and 82.93 on Reuters. It last traded at 82.96, down 0.9 percent on the day JPY=.

The yen has gained more than 10 percent against the dollar this year as recent weak U.S. data and record-low bond yields drove money away from U.S. assets. Japan worries that a strong yen will hurt its export-driven economy.

The Kan victory provided "positive yen news," said Joseph Trevisani, chief analyst at FX Solutions in Saddle River, New Jersey. But he added that "83 has no more meaning than the typical round number in dollar/yen. The level to look at is the all-time low."

That low is at 79.75 yen.

Tempus Consulting's Savalggio suggested Japanese intervention below 83 yen is a real risk and suggested going short yen. Traders also cited "stop-loss" orders around 82.85 yen. <^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ PDF presentation on the yen: PDF on Japan leadership vote: ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^>

If the dollar hits 82 yen in a couple of hours, the risk of intervention would rise, analysts say.

Dollar/yen three-month composite risk reversal was at -2.15 on Tuesday from -1.9 on Monday, with a bias to dollar puts and yen calls and indicating slightly more bullishness on the yen.

Boris Schlossberg, head of research at GFT Forex, said traders would try to push the dollar toward the all-time low beneath 80 yen, though he said if U.S. economic data starts to improve, short dollar positions could be in for a squeeze.

Lingering doubts about the longer-term global outlook kept the safe-haven Swiss franc in demand. The dollar fell to 0.9934 francs CHF=, the lowest since late November. (Reporting by Nick Olivari and Steven C. Johnson; Editing by Dan Grebler) (Additional reporting by Gertrude Chavez-Dreyfuss and Vivianne Rodrigues in New York and Tamawa Desai in London)

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