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Wednesday November 8, 2006 - 11:19:21 GMT
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FOREX-Dollar easing after US election, little impact seen

FOREX-Dollar easing after US election, little impact seen
Wed Nov 8, 2006 6:11am ET29

(Updates price, adds quotes, changes byline)

By Veronica Brown

LONDON, Nov 8 (Reuters) - The dollar eased towards six-week lows against the euro on Wednesday but falls were limited as investors specuylated no major policy shift was likely after the Democrats took control of the U.S. House of Representatives.

The battle for the Senate still hangs in the balance, but traders said currency markets were very much taking the U.S. political situation in their stride. An absence of major economic data in the session also left major currencies holding in ranges.

"The market has taken this with relative calm, political uncertainty doesn't help a currency and the dollar has weakened but at the same time euro/dollar is still nicely settled in a fairly well constructed $1.25/1.30 range," GNI currency strategist Mark Henry said.

"This sort of news isn't strong enough to push the euro out of that comfort zone...The bigger moves we might see are going to come from the economic side of things and in particlar the interest rate differential story," he added.

By 1100 GMT, the euro was up 0.18 percent on the day at $1.2791 , having hit a six-week high of $1.2819 on Tuesday.

The euro shrugged off data on Wednesday that showed Germany's trade surplus in September widened more than expected to 15.0 billion euros from an upwardly revised 12.4 billion in August.

The dollar was down 0.1 percent against the yen at 117.57 yen . The euro was flat at 150.40 yen , around half a yen off its record high.

The Australian dollar fell to US$0.7690 , erasing gains made after the Reserve Bank of Australia earlier raised rates as expected to 6.25 percent. Analysts say comments from the RBA, which left open the question of more rate hikes, were not sufficiently hawkish to further lift the Aussie.

The Democrats were moving to the brink of capturing the Senate, but their final victory could be delayed by a possible recount in Virgina.

Analysts said the Democrats' victory in the House would likely put the brakes on Bush's legislative agenda in his final two years in office.


The dollar fell in Asia after Bank of Japan Policy Board member Atsushi Mizuno suggested in a speech that Japanese interest rates will rise, albeit gradually, so long as the economy grows in line with BOJ expectations.

His remarks were seen as more restrained than those of BOJ Governor Toshihiko Fukui, who reiterated on Tuesday that rate rises would be gradual but said the central bank would not wait for risks to the economy to appear before tightening policy.

Markets generally expect the BOJ to raise rates some time in the first quarter of next year from 0.25 percent currently, with any indication they could rise faster boosting the low-yielding yen.

"Even if rates are going up and even if we assume the market is too relaxed about the pace of hikes, we are still talking about Japanese rates at very low levels. The yen is a funding vehicle for carry trades as long as risk appetite remains at an elevated level," Rabobank markets strategist Jeremy Stretch said.

Investors shrugged off comments by Richmond Fed President Jeffrey Lacker that the U.S. central bank had failed to emphasise its desire for lower inflation.

In a Financial Times interview published on Wednesday, Lacker said inflation risks have persisted because "we have not communicated very strongly that we want inflation to be lower and would be willing to take action to bring that about".

Lacker has three times opposed the Federal Reserve's decision to hold rates steady at 5.25 percent.

© Reuters 2006. All Rights Reserved.


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