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Monday November 1, 2010 - 10:01:17 GMT
Reuters - www.reuters.com

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FOREX NEWS - Dollar falls as market prepares for Fed easing

5:33am EDT

* Dollar index falls 0.4 pct; weighed down by likely QE

* Fall in U.S. yields adding to pressure on greenback

* Dollar/yen spikes from 15-year low, traders cite miss-hit

(Changes dateline, adds quote, previous TOKYO)

By Neal Armstrong

LONDON, Nov 1 (Reuters) - The dollar fell against a basket of currencies on Monday ahead of expected further U.S. monetary easing, slipping back towards a 15-year low versus the yen after an apparently erroneous spike triggered intervention jitters.

The greenback came under pressure against most other major currencies, albeit within recent ranges, as the market geared up for the Federal Reserve to step up money printing after its policy meeting on Nov. 2-3.

"The fact that the Fed will use further QE is a burden for the dollar, whatever the volume they announce," said Ulrich Leuchtmann, head of FX research at Commerzbank.

"But it's unlikely the market will take on additional dollar selling ahead of the announcement. The recent $1.37/1.41 euro/dollar range should hold for now," he said.

A recent Reuters poll found most leading economists expect the Fed to buy between $80 billion and $100 billion in assets per month, with totals ranging widely, from $250 billion to as high as $2 trillion. [ID:nNLLRLE6LL]

The dollar was broadly under pressure after U.S. Treasury yields on Friday ahead of the Fed's policy meeting. The yield on U.S. two-year notes US2YT=RR fell near a record low.

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For a PDF previewing the Fed link.reuters.com/pyb23q

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DOLLAR/YEN SPIKE

After spiking more than one yen to 81.60 yen in early Asian trade, the dollar gave up its gains and slid back within range of its 1995 record low of 79.75 yen, with talk of dollar sales related to redemptions of U.S. Treasuries weighing it down.

Analysts said the market remained fairly short dollars as it headed into the Fed meeting but short-term players have lightened some positions, according to the latest CFTC data. <IMM/FX>

The dollar was close to flat at 80.38 yen JPY= after leaping from 80.35 yen to 81.60 yen JPY= very rapidly at about 0000 GMT. It had earlier slid to a 15-year low of 80.21.

Dealers said the spike came as dollar/yen jumped straight from about 80.40 yen to 80.70 yen on trading platform EBS, making many suspect possible Japanese intervention.

With the dollar trending ever closer to the 80.00 yen level that some see as a possible threshold for intervention, the sudden rise prompted others to jump on the move, sending the dollar even higher.

But it quickly gave up its gains as talk circulated that the spike was caused by a miss-hit or technical glitch. A Japanese Ministry of Finance official declined to comment on the sudden move.

Japan intervened to sell yen for the first time since 2004 on Sept. 15, intervening repeatedly through the Asian, European and U.S. trading day to drive the dollar up from a 15-year low.

But Japanese authorities did not conduct any foreign exchange intervention between Sept. 29 and Oct. 27, the Ministry of Finance said on Friday. [ID:nTKB007131]

While players remain on guard against possible intervention, many traders think such steps are unlikely.

Yunosuke Ikeda, senior FX strategist at Nomura Securities, said the likelihood of intervention was fairly low in particular after the G20 meetings, where countries agreed to shun competitive currency devaluations.

"As long as the dollar/yen's fall is mainly attributable to the weakness of the U.S. dollar, any justification of unilateral Japanese intervention will be very difficult," he said.

The greenback dropped 0.4 percent against a basket of six currencies at 76.926 .DXY =USD, while the euro EUR= was up 0.2 percent at $1.3981 after climbing to $1.4011 overnight.

The Australian dollar AUD=D4 rose 0.6 percent to $0.9886 after China's official purchasing managers' index for manufacturing beat market expectations and hit a six-month high, boosting regional currencies and shares.

(Additional reporting by Hideyuki Sano and Charlotte Cooper, editing by Nigel Stephenson)

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