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Friday October 29, 2010 - 11:07:26 GMT
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FOREX NEWS - Yen gains as equities slip, high-yielders fall

6:18am EDT

* Yen within sight of record high of 79.75 per dollar

* Yen outperforms vs higher-yielders as equities fall

* U.S. GDP due but main focus on FOMC, likely QE

(Adds quote, detail)

By Neal Armstrong

LONDON, Oct 29 (Reuters) - The yen rose to within sight of its 1995 record high versus the dollar on Friday, rising broadly as equity markets fell, pushing down the euro and high yielders in trade made choppy by month-end flows.

A pullback in riskier assets, triggered by soft Japanese data, knocked the dollar towards a 15-year low of 80.41 yen, within sight of a record trough of 79.75 also set in 1995.

Soft Japanese manufacturing data [ID:nTIYSLE61H] prompted a 1.75 percent fall in the Nikkei average .N225, which had a knock-on effect on global equities.

"The yen is outperforming on risk-aversion following the Japanese data," said Manuel Oliveri, currency strategist at UBS in Zurich.

"The slowdown in manufacturing activity is mainly due to slowing export growth on the back of a stronger yen."

A falling share market was seen testing Japanese authorities' resolve on intervention, after they did so in September to counter a push higher in the yen. [ID:nTOE69P01U]

European stocks were down 0.4 percent .FTEU3 and U.S. equities looked set for a negative open. .SPc1

The dollar was down 0.2 percent at 80.80 yen JPY=, off an earlier low of 80.53 on trading platform EBS, with stop-losses reported under 80.40 ahead of a layer of bids from 80.30 to 80.00.

Traders said a Japanese house was a large buyer in the European session, with estimates of up to one billion dollars going through, but there was limited impact on the price.

The euro EURJPY=R fell 1 percent to 111.65 yen, while the Australian dollar fell 1.2 percent to 78.24 yen AUDJPY=R and 1 percent against the U.S. dollar AUD=D4 to $0.9678.

Some mild dollar selling was anticipated at the European month-end fixings thanks to outperformance in U.S. equities this month.

"The large increase in U.S. equity market capitalisations has led to a sell USD signal for all crosses," said analysts at Barclays in a note to clients.


Investors are waiting to see if the Fed says next week that it will resume quantitative easing as many expect, and if so, on what scale.

A New York Fed survey of dealers and investors included scenarios of up to $1 trillion, a figure larger than recent estimates, and analysts say possible scenarios include the Fed starting at $80 billion to $100 billion a month but leaving itself the option to do more. [FED/R]

"We think $500 billion over six months but they may not put a timeframe to it," said Robert Ryan, FX strategist at BNP Paribas in Singapore.

Due at 1230 GMT, the GDP report is expected to show the world's biggest economy grew 2.0 percent in the third quarter.

"U.S. GDP is highly unlikely to be a game-changer unless it deviates significantly from forecasts which could cause investors to alter their estimates of QE from the Fed," said Paul Mackel, director of currency strategy at HSBC.

The euro slipped 0.9 percent to $1.3811 EUR=. The dollar index .DXY rose 0.5 percent to 77.659 after falling 1.1 percent the previous day.

"There is some dollar position squaring going on related to the FOMC with some of our clients starting to feel that the Fed may disappoint market expectations," said Oliveri at UBS.

(Additional reporting by Masayuki Kitano and Charlotte Cooper in Tokyo, editing by John Stonestreet and Andy Bruce)

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