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Friday September 17, 2010 - 10:19:42 GMT
Reuters - www.reuters.com

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FOREX NEWS-Dollar steady vs yen but hits 1-month low vs euro

5:50am EDT

* Dollar stuck just below 1-month high at 85.94 yen

* Euro EUR= hits 1-month high vs dollar, cable also up

* Dollar index falls, yen crosses rise

* Australian dollar hits two-year high vs U.S. dollar

(Adds quote, updates prices)

By Anirban Nag

LONDON, Sept 17 (Reuters) - The dollar hovered within striking distance of a one-month high against the yen on Friday, with investors nervous about pushing it too far against the yen as the threat of Japanese intervention hung over the market.

But the dollar fell against other majors, with the euro climbing 0.5 percent to a one-month high, while sterling GBP=D4 also hit its highest in a month. The yen fell on the crosses, dropping to its lowest in more than a month against the euro and a four-month trough versus the higher-yielding Aussie.

"The dollar is being hurt by talk of more quantitative easing and you have the Bank of Japan, which is leaving its intervention proceeds unsterilised," said Ian Stannard, senior currency strategist at BNP Paribas.

"This surge in global liquidity is supporting growth-linked currencies while the dollar is being supported against the yen on risks of more intervention by the Japanese."

By 0920 GMT, the dollar was broadly flat against the yen at 85.82 JPY=, not far from a one-month high of 85.94 struck earlier this week.

Traders said caution about further intervention, since Japan intervened in the market for the first time in six years on Wednesday, lent support to the dollar if it fell near 85.00 yen.

They added hedge funds which had been dollar bears were cutting long yen positions. Dealers also said Japanese exporters, who close their books for the half-year this month, may cap the dollar with sales around 86.00 yen. One trader said there were large sell orders lined up between 86 and 87 yen.

"It is a battle between Japanese exporters and the authorities and it is crucial for the yen to close around 86 yen this week," said a strategist at a Japanese bank in London.

"If it does close around 86, the authorities can convince exporters that intervention is working and it will alleviate some of the hedging pressure from the exporters."

Japanese markets are closed on Monday and Thursday next week for public holidays.

The euro EUR= climbed to $1.3159 in European trade, a five-week high. Traders said the euro was underpinned by demand from Asian sovereign names and a UK clearer.

The euro EURJPY=R rose as high as 112.98 yen, its highest since Aug. 10, and was looking bullish on the charts. The Australian dollar hit a two-year high of $0.9468 AUD=D4, boosted by rising gold prices and better risk appetite.

The dollar index .DXY dropped to a five-week low of 80.865. The index broke down through its 100-day moving average this week on speculation the Federal Reserve would embark on more quantitative easing later this year.

<^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

For dollar/yen correlations link.reuters.com/wyn43p

For PDF on the yen's rise r.reuters.com/zuz33p

For graphic on intervention link.reuters.com/wym42p

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^>

JAPAN TO EXPLAIN INTERVENTION

The dollar climbed as far as 85.94 yen on Thursday, its strongest since mid-August, and faced resistance at its 55-day moving average at that level.

It faces further resistance at 86.30 yen, the bottom of the resistance cloud on its Ichimoku chart, but traders also cited stop-loss buy orders above 86.00 and 86.35.

"The real key positioning is probably what the corporates and Japanese investors need to do and I think there are still corporates out there that need to sell," said Greg Gibbs, currency strategist at Royal Bank of Scotland in Sydney.

Japan is considering increasing the amount of funds available for currency intervention, Kyodo news agency said late on Thursday, citing sources close to the matter.[ID:nTOE68F08D].

Money market data from the Bank of Japan on Thursday showed Wednesday's intervention may have totalled about 1.76 trillion to 1.86 trillion yen ($20.5-$21.7 billion), in line with estimates circulating in the market. [ID:nTKW007123].

Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan and U.S. President Barack Obama are due to meet on Sept. 23 in New York and Japan's currency market intervention will be on the agenda, the Asahi newspaper said. [ID:nTOE68G006]

Kan reshuffled his cabinet, retaining Finance Minister Yoshihiko Noda, who oversaw Wednesday's intervention.

Noda said Tokyo needed to explain its stance to other countries when it came to intervention, after the action sparked criticism from policymakers overseas and raised worries about competitive devaluations. But he said Japan remained ready to step into the market again if necessary. [ID:nTOE68G006]

(Additional reporting by Tokyo Forex team)

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