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Tuesday November 9, 2010 - 11:31:36 GMT
Reuters - www.reuters.com

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FOREX NEWS-Euro erases loss but sovereign debt worries weigh

6:14am EST

* Buying by Asian accounts buying limits euro losses

* Euro flat at $1.3925 EUR=

* Euro zone peripheral debt yield spread continues to widen

* Yen gains across board, dollar back below 81.00 yen

(Releads, adds quote, updates prices)

By Tamawa Desai

LONDON, Nov 9 (Reuters) - The euro erased early losses against the dollar on Tuesday as Asian accounts bought on dips, but the single currency remained pressured on concerns about peripheral euro zone debt.

In choppy trade, the euro fell to its lowest in more than a week against the dollar, to $1.3823 on trading platform EBS early in the session, nearly a full cent below the day's highs.

But buying from Asian sovereign accounts, particularly from the Middle East, stemmed losses and sent short-term traders scurrying to cover positions, which pushed the euro back to around $1.3925 by 0947 GMT.

Traders also mentioned buying interest around $1.3850 to protect option barriers at $1.3800, and talk of a double no-touch option at $1.38/$1.48.

Analysts said there was still potential for a slide to more important support at its Oct. 20 low of $1.3697, having fallen below support at $1.3835, the 76.4 percent retracement of its move up from the Oct. 20 low to $1.4283 on Nov. 4.

"We are bearish on the euro with spreads widening and peripheral euro zone debt once again under pressure," said Hans-Guenter Redeker, chief FX strategist at BNP Paribas.

The cost of protecting government debt against default in Ireland, Portugal and Spain has risen substantially in the past week, highlighting the difficulties Europe faces with its sovereign debt and banking problems. [ID:nLDE6A80MM]

Commerzbank analysts said bond investors had priced in a more than 40 percent likelihood of a loss on Irish debt and of more than 33 percent for Portugal over the next five years.

Against this background, nervous investors will await the outcome of a Portuguese issue of six-and 10-year bonds on Wednesday. Any difficulties could see the euro fall more.

For a column on widening bid/offer spreads on euro zone sovereign debt please click on [ID:nLDE6A71VY].

The euro also shed losses against the yen, but was still down 0.4 percent at 112.50 yen EURJPY=R after falling to a one-week low of 111.74 yen

"A more risk-averse environment would begin to favour a dollar rebound alongside a corrective sell-off for equities," said Lee Hardman, currency economist at Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ.

HEDGE FUNDS BOOK CLOSURE AND G20

Traders said some macro players and Commodity Trading Advisers, who are short-term players, were closing their long euro and short dollar forward and futures positions ahead of their book closing at the end of this month or next.

The dollar fell 0.4 percent on the day to 80.78 yen JPY= after earlier holding steady above 81.00, above its 1995 record low of 79.75 yen and capped at 82 yen, where offers from Japanese corporates were seen.

A pullback in risk-taking sentiment after China said it would strictly manage company short-term foreign debt quotas [ID:nBGN9ME62H] prompted yen gains, traders said.

The market was also watching this week's meeting of Group of 20 leaders in South Korea, as they attempted to agree on ways to reduce global imbalances to bolster a fragile global economic recovery.

<^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

Greek, Irish bond yield spread r.reuters.com/tuk54q

G20 battle lines: r.reuters.com/jux34q

Basel III; rule reshaping: r.reuters.com/zys68p

Gold price performance: link.reuters.com/juz44q

Trade, currency tensions simmer pre-G20 [ID:nSGE6A801L]

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^>

Meanwhile, The New Zealand dollar NZD=D4 fell sharply on reports the United States had stopped importing kiwi-fruit vine on worries that an orchard could be infected with a virus. (Additional reporting by Anirban Nag; Graphics by Scott Barber; Editing by Catherine Evans)

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