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Wednesday May 2, 2007 - 10:14:04 GMT
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FOREX NEWS-Post-ISM rally takes dlr to 2-month high vs yen

FOREX-Post-ISM rally takes dlr to 2-month high vs yen
Wed May 2, 2007 6:04 AM ET

(Adds quotes, updates prices)

By Toni Vorobyova

LONDON, May 2 (Reuters) - The dollar hit a two-month high versus the yen on Wednesday, extending gains kicked off by data that showed U.S. manufacturing expanding at its fastest pace in almost a year.

The euro retreated from recent record highs versus the yen, the Swiss franc and the dollar as a build-up of long positions in the currency made investors reluctant to continue buying.

A pick-up in the Institute for Supply Management's manufacturing index reported on Tuesday calmed some concerns about the extent of U.S. economic slowdown ahead of a key U.S. jobs report on Friday.

"Yesterday's ISM data obviously sparked a recovery of sorts (in the dollar). There is a concern that the rallies (in the euro) were looking a little tired, and that non-farm payroll numbers are coming up. So there is a view that perhaps it's time to lock in a bit of profit," said Simon Derrick, head of currency research at Bank of New York.

He added that volumes remained thin after holidays in Europe and Asia earlier in the week and with Japan's markets due to be shut on Thursday and Friday.

By 0940 GMT, the euro was down 0.2 percent at $1.3578 , having pulled back from last week's record high above $1.3680.

The dollar stood at 120.02 yen , up 0.3 percent on the day. It earlier rose as high as 120.15 yen on electronic trading platform EBS, its highest level since Feb. 27.

The euro was broadly steady at 163.01 yen . The single currency rose above 163.30 yen the previous day, the highest since its 1999 launch.

EUROPE STILL STRONG

Data on Wednesday showed the euro zone Purchasing Managers' Index held at 55.4 in April, matching March's 13-month low and slightly below a consensus forecast of 55.7 but still holding firmly in the growth territory above 50.

Markets showed little reaction and analysts said the data should not alter expectations for a European Central Bank interest rate hike next month and the possibility of further tightening later in the year.

ECB Governing Council member Klaus Liebscher wrote in an Austrian newspaper on Wednesday that Europe seemed strong enough to weather a moderate slowdown in the United States.

In the United States, the ADP private sector employment report, due at 1215 GMT, could give markets a steer on the likely outcome for official non-farm payrolls data.

"All the numbers will be scrutinised with respect to their relevance to the labour market report: today the ADP report, tomorrow the employment component of the ISM service index -- but really the key data is on Friday and until then I would be surprised if investors take a very firm view," said Michael Klawitter, FX strategist at Dresdner Kleinwort in Frankfurt.

The ADP report is expected to show that 100,000 jobs were added in April compared to 106,000 in March. In non-farm payrolls, consensus is also for a 100,000 rise after 180,000 the previous month.

On Tuesday, the Institute for Supply Management said its index of national factory activity rose to 54.7 in April from 50.9 in March. The reading was the highest since May 2006.

The solid manufacturing data, however, wasn't enough to drastically alter market expectations for the Federal Reserve to cut interest rates later this year from 5.25 percent.

© Reuters 2007. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of Reuters content, including by caching, framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Reuters. Reuters and the Reuters sphere logo are registered trademarks and trademarks of the Reuters group of companies around the world.



 

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