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Friday November 5, 2010 - 09:30:27 GMT
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FOREX NEWS - Dlr near lows, jobs data unlikely to offer succour

5:24am EDT

* Dollar index near 11-month lows ahead of U.S. jobs data

* Euro supported near 9-1/2 month highs hit post-Fed

* Dollar/yen slips after BOJ keeps asset fund size steady

(Changes dateline, releads, adds quote, previous TOKYO)

By Anirban Nag

LONDON, Nov 5 (Reuters) - The dollar was mired near 11-month lows against a basket of currencies on Friday, while the Australian dollar hit 28-year highs as the Federal Reserve's stimulus package spurred investors appetite for risk.

Investor focus now turns to U.S. monthly jobs data and traders said any upside surprise from the numbers is likely to offer only a fleeting respite to the dollar. A weaker number could see the dollar-selling trend gather pace.

"The Fed has made it clear that quantitative easing will remain in place and there is enough slackness in the U.S. economy. So any strong number is unlikely to offer much support to the dollar," said Ian Stannard, senior currency strategist at BNP Paribas.

Economists polled by Reuters expect 60,000 jobs were created in October after 95,000 were lost in September. That is seen as too feeble a signal to imply any meaningful shift in the stagnant labour market. As a result the unemployment rate is expected to remain sticky at 9.6 percent. [ID:nN02101041].

The dollar index =USD.DXY was flat at 75.90, having hit an 11-month low of 75.63 on Thursday and opening the way for a possible test of its 2009 low of 74.17.

The euro was up 0.2 percent at $1.4222 EUR=, not far from $1.4283, its strongest since late January, struck on Thursday. Traders reported options barriers at $1.43.

The Australian dollar was up 0.3 percent at $1.0173 AUD=D4, having risen to a 28-year high of $1.0183 earlier in the session. Apart from buoyant risk appetite, the Aussie was supported by upbeat comments from the central bank on Friday. [ID:nSGE6A4018].

Australia's central bank raised rates by 25 basis points this week to 4.75 percent, amongst the highest in the developed world.

That was in sharp contrast to the Fed's commitment this week to buy more Treasuries, implying ultra-loose monetary policy. That has renewed the focus on the dollar as a funding currency for purchases in commodities, emerging markets and higher-yielding currencies.

Highlighting the risk-on sentiment, share markets around Asia and Europe extended gains on Friday.


Link to PDF on Fed decision:

For more stories on Fed policy: [FED/AHEAD]

Graphic on assets and QE



The dollar was flat against the yen, at 80.70 yen, paring small early gains, and edging closer to its 1995 post-war record low of 79.75 yen JPY=. Traders said Japanese exporters lined up with offers at 80.80-81 yen levels.

The Bank of Japan (BOJ) concluded a policy review without easing policy further. The yen firmed slightly after the announcement on disappointment that the bank had not announced any expansion to its asset buying plan in response to the Fed.

BOJ Governor Masaaki Shirakawa said on Friday he saw upside and downside risks to Japan's economy as evenly balanced. [ID:nTOE6A4080].

Analysts expect some weakening in Japan's economic indicators ahead and say more easing through asset-buying will be needed.

"Yen strength feels as if it is coming home to roost," said Robert Rennie, chief strategist at Westpac in Sydney. "Now is the time for the BOJ to start to stand up and deliver."

On the crosses, the yen lost ground this week against the euro and the Aussie dollar, falling to its lowest since May at 82.15 yen per Australian dollar AUDJPY=R on Thursday.

A fall in yen option volatilities has helped boost the crosses, as it encourages carry trades by suggesting less risk of currency market swings, a trader at a European bank said.

One-month dollar/yen JPY1MO= option volatility has fallen after the Fed decision but it still remains above the levels seen earlier in the decade, the trader noted.

The latest rise in cross yen pairs was more likely a knee-jerk reaction to falling volatilities than a real increase in carry trade flows, he added.

(additional reporting by Charlotte Cooper in Tokyo)

(Editing by Sujata Rao)

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