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Monday September 11, 2006 - 01:50:52 GMT
Reuters - www.reuters.com

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FOREX-Dollar holds near highs, yen eyes Japan data

FOREX-Dollar holds near highs, yen eyes Japan data
Sun Sep 10, 2006 7:40pm ET163

TOKYO, Sept 11 (Reuters) - The dollar held near a six-week high against the euro on Monday after getting a technical bounce late last week, while the yen was steady ahead of the release of Japanese data later in the session.

The yen, which surged to a one-month high against the euro last week after a German finance official said the Japanese currency's weakness would be discussed at the forthcoming Group of Seven meeting, may get another boost if the data comes in strong, traders said.

But the yen may have limited upside against the dollar, which rose to a six-week high of $1.2651 against the euro on Friday as dealers took aim at key technical targets.

"The yen looks firm on the crosses (such as against the euro). But in overseas trade (on Friday) the focus turned to the dollar," said a trader for a Japanese trust bank.

Traders said the dollar gained buoyancy due partly to comments by U.S. Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson, who said on Friday he supported a strong dollar and believed the value of the U.S. currency should be set in open markets. Paulson was speaking at a university in Hanoi after a meeting of finance ministers of Pacific Rim countries. Market players are also positioning for the risk that the U.S. Federal Reserve may have to raise interest rates again to keep inflation at bay.

As of 2326 GMT, the euro was little changed at $1.2668 compared with levels in late New York dealings on Friday, and a touch easier at 148.10 yen .

The dollar was little changed at 116.89 yen .

The yen could edge higher if Japan's revised gross domestic product data for the second quarter or July machinery orders data comes in strong, traders said.

Economists' forecasts for revised second-quarter GDP data, due at 2350 GMT, centred on growth of 0.2 percent quarter-on-quarter and 1.0 percent annualised, according to a Reuters survey.

July machinery orders, due at 0500 GMT, are expected to show a 5.3 percent drop from the previous month.

© Reuters 2006. All Rights Reserved.

 

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