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Tuesday September 21, 2010 - 10:56:37 GMT
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FOREX NEWS - Euro up after debt auctions; dlr slips before Fed

6:48am EDT

* Euro near 6-wk high vs dollar after peripheral debt sales

* Dollar slips on caution FOMC may hint at more QE

* Intervention fear keeps yen buying in check

(Updates prices; adds quote)

By Jessica Mortimer

LONDON, Sept 21 (Reuters) - The euro rose against the dollar on Tuesday, helped by solid demand at sales of peripheral euro zone debt, as expectations the Federal Reserve may debate further monetary easing weighed on the greenback. Irish, Greek and Spanish government debt auctions saw decent demand, easing concerns about whether the euro zone's highly indebted countries can obtain the funding they need. [ID:nLDE68C0H1] [ID:nATH005693] [ID:nLDE68J1NH]

Spreads between peripheral euro zone and German bond yields narrowed, while European equities .FTEU3 rose, lifting the euro near a six-week high against a weak dollar.

Few expect the Fed to apply another dose of quantitative easing (QE) when it announces its decision around 1815 GMT, but the statement is expected to be dovish due to recent evidence of a weakening economy. [ID:nSGE68J04M]

"The fact that the auctions were relatively well received helped the euro develop some bullish momentum and it has broken through resistance at $1.3120," said Stephan Maier, currency strategist at Unicredit in Milan.

The euro EUR= was up 0.6 percent at $1.3140, a touch below a six-week high at $1.3160 hit on Friday.

While the euro holds above the $1.3030 area, some chartists see its Aug. 6 high of $1.3334 as an upside target, but there are hurdles before it gets there, including the 200-day moving average, which comes in at about $1.3220.

The dollar index .DXY was down 0.4 percent at 81.011, edging towards a six-week low of 80.865 hit last week.

"The consensus is that the Fed won't announce any QE today, but no one wants to be long dollars going into the meeting," said Niels Christensen, currency strategist at Nordea in Copenhagen.

"The statement might be quite dovish, which could intensify speculation of more QE later in the year. This would leave the dollar vulnerable."


Against the yen, the dollar struggled JPY=, trading down 0.1 percent at 85.59 yen, but fear of more intervention by Japanese authorities to curb yen gains limited the greenback's losses. Traders reported stop loss orders around 85.20 yen.


For a PDF on the yen click:


The dollar has failed to climb above its post-intervention high of 85.94 yen set last Friday, capped by Japanese exporter selling ahead of half-year book-closing on Sept. 30, and more sales are expected towards the 86 yen level before then.

Its 55-day moving average, now at 85.87 yen, has become a resistance level since Japan intervened last Wednesday, and further resistance lies at 86.26, the bottom of its daily Ichimoku cloud trend indicator.

Some market players do not rule out another push by Japanese authorities to shunt the greenback over 86 yen. Many doubt they would let the dollar fall below 85.00.

The Australian dollar AUD=D4 fell 0.2 percent to $0.9462, but stayed near a two-year peak of $0.9495 AUD=D4 hit on Monday after the country's central bank chief suggested Australian interest rates would rise further.

It rallied again briefly after central bank minutes showed policymakers saw a need for higher rates but traders said talk of a large option barrier around $0.9500 with expiry at the end of the month helped cap its progress. [ID:nCBR000084]

(Additional reporting by Hideyuki Sano in Tokyo)

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