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Thursday October 14, 2010 - 20:39:43 GMT
Reuters - www.reuters.com

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FOREX NEWS - Dollar drops to 2010 low vs major rivals

4:05pm EDT

* Singapore widens trading band for Singapore dollar

* Euro rises above $1.4100, highest in more than 8 months

* Aussie flirts with parity, dollar index hits 2010 low (Updates prices)

NEW YORK, Oct 14 (Reuters) - The U.S. dollar slid to a 2010 low against a basket of currencies on Thursday after Singapore let its currency rise but analysts saw increasing chances of a dollar rebound with negative sentiment so high.

The Australian dollar, which boasts the highest yield among major currencies, soared to its strongest since the currency was floated in 1983 as investors dumped the U.S. dollar on expectations the Federal Reserve would start printing money through further quantitative easing as soon as next month.

Singapore's central bank widened the trading band in which it maintains the Singapore dollar SGD= SGD=D4, propelling it to a record high. Singapore is experiencing rising inflation and the move was seen as a tightening of policy -- the opposite of what the U.S. Federal Reserve is expected to do.

The Chinese yuan CNY=CFXS hit its highest close against the U.S. dollar since July 2005. For more see [ID:nSGE69D09L].

"Singapore is often seen as a bellwether for the rest of the Asian currencies," said Firas Askari, head of FX trading at BMO Capital Markets in Toronto. "It opens the way for the region to have currency gains (against the U.S. dollar)."

The dollar index .DXY, which tumbled to its weakest since December, is on course to test trendline support at 75.95, with its November low of 74.17 then not far away. The 75.95 target is the trendline from two major lows in July 2008 and in November 2009. CMC Markets places support after 74.17 at 70.70, the low from March 2008.

The dollar index was last down 0.6 percent at 76.593.

The euro EUR= surged to a more than eight-month high of $1.4123 on trading platform EBS EUR=EBS and faces near-term resistance at $1.4195, the Jan. 25 high. Traders said the euro still has room to go, with strong resistance not seen until $1.45. The pair was last at $1.4067, up 0.8 percent.

After the euro failed to crack $1.40 the previous session, the currency's moves caught some players by surprise as they had been expecting more consolidation. It triggered stops around $1.4030 and then $1.4050 in Asia and subsequently cracked the $1.41 handle in Europe.

While a short-term consolidation may still be on the cards, CitiFX says it still sees the pair making a run at $1.4360-70 and then $1.4720.

The Aussie dollar last traded at US$0.9935 AUD=, up 0.3 percent, with traders saying option barriers at $1.0000 were slowing the rally. It has gained about 11 percent this year and is up more than 20 percent from a low in May.

The options market suggests the recent upward momentum in the Aussie dollar has further to run. [ID:nLDE69711U]

DOLLAR BOUNCE?

Dollar selling accelerated after the release of Federal Reserve meeting minutes this week showing policy makers were considering more measures to stimulate the economy, including adopting a price-level target or buying more bonds.

Investors will closely watch a speech by Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke on Friday which could provide hints on what the U.S. central bank might do at its next policy meeting on Nov. 2-3.

Lee Hardman, currency economist at The Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ in London, said dollar pessimism, judged by many metrics, is now at "historically extreme levels signaling an elevated risk of a sharp correction higher for the dollar when dollar selling has reached a crescendo."

"At the end of the day, when everybody is on the boat and everybody is doing the same ..., it doesn't take much to make the boat go the other way," BMO Capital's Askari said.

The dollar could see a rebound if the Fed announces asset purchases of less than $1 trillion after its meeting in November, which would disappoint some market participants hoping for a bigger move and ease concerns about a debasement of the U.S. currency.

Jack Spitz, managing director of foreign exchange at National Bank of Canada in Toronto, said with the market already pricing in Fed easing, the dollar could rise after the Fed meeting in a "sell the rumor, buy the fact" reaction.

The dollar also hit the latest in a succession of record lows against the Swiss franc CHF= and slid below parity with the Canadian dollar CAD=, a level not seen since April.

The greenback fell to a 15-year low of 80.88 yen JPY= on EBS, despite wariness about Japanese intervention, and looked set to challenge its record low of 79.75 hit in April 1995.

While traders think the Bank of Japan could intervene at any moment to keep the yen in check, some market participants speculated that Tokyo may prefer to avoid intervention ahead of G20 meetings in South Korea in October and November. (Reporting by Nick Olivari and Wanfeng Zhou; Additional reporting by Neal Armstrong in London; Editing by James Dalgleish)

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