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Tuesday August 1, 2006 - 20:51:26 GMT
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FOREX-Dollar surrenders gains as technical selling abounds

FOREX-Dollar surrenders gains as technical selling abounds
Tue Aug 1, 2006 4:39pm ET140

(Updates prices)

By Amanda Cooper

NEW YORK, Aug 1 (Reuters) - The dollar fell broadly on Tuesday as a wave of technical selling offset gains made on robust U.S. economic data and fairly bullish comments from the new U.S. Treasury chief.

A wave of short-covering in the euro was triggered after a dollar rally stalled at resistance around $1.2710. The selling helped push the greenback to near one-month lows versus the single euro zone currency and two-month lows against sterling.

The dollar had climbed on data showing U.S. manufacturing and inflation accelerating, which helped support the view that the Federal Reserve could raise interest rates again next week.

The dollar initially drew support from Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson, who reiterated the U.S. government's strong dollar policy in his first public remarks since taking the job last month.

"I'm not really sure that we're looking at the break of all breaks (lower in the dollar), but we definitely saw dollar weakness on a day that we should not have and that usually is somewhat telling," said Matt Kassel, director of foreign exchange at ING Capital Markets in New York.

"U.S. data-wise, Paulson's comments -- all of it was not really dollar bearish. So why we're where we are in euro/dollar: I think eventually the market no longer wanted to sell the euro and support was fairly strong," he said.

By late afternoon in New York, the euro was up almost 0.5 percent on the day at $1.2820, narrowly off a near-one month high of $1.2823.

Sterling was up 0.4 percent at $1.8760, having reached $1.8763, nearly a two-month high.

The dollar surrendered all its gains against the yen. It was last down 0.1 percent at 114.51 yen , and was down over 0.4 percent against the Swiss franc at 1.2262 francs .

The start of the dollar's slide coincided with the dip in benchmark 10-year Treasury note yields below 5 percent.

Short-term interest rate markets continued to reflect just a 38 percent chance that the Fed will raise rates on Aug. 8, up from a 32 percent chance on Monday but little changed from levels seen after the release of U.S. economic indicators earlier Tuesday. Higher interest rates generally boost the U.S. currency by drawing funds to short-term dollar deposits.

"The market is susceptible here to anything shy of consensus, more controlled inflation backdrops and more rhetoric that is conducive or calling for a weaker dollar. But today we didn't get any of that," said David Mozina, senior vice president of FX research at Lehman Brothers in New York.

Earlier on Tuesday, data showed that U.S. factory activity rose unexpectedly in July, while prices paid by manufacturers registered their highest reading in nine months, according to the Institute for Supply Management. For details, see [ID:nN01330480] and [ID:nN31347164].

Data also showed that yearly core PCE, an inflation measure favored by the Fed, rose to 2.4 percent on an annual basis in June from an upwardly revised annual 2.2 percent in May. (Additional reporting by Jamie McGeever, Steven C. Johnson and Gertrude Chavez-Dreyfuss)

© Reuters 2006. All Rights Reserved.


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