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Monday June 11, 2007 - 22:09:15 GMT
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FOREX NEWS-Dollar advances to 3-1/2-month high vs Swiss franc

FOREX-Dollar advances to 3-1/2-month high vs Swiss franc
Mon Jun 11, 2007 4:26 PM ET

(Recasts, updates prices)

NEW YORK, June 11 (Reuters) - The dollar rallied to a 3-1/2 month high against the Swiss franc on Monday, with U.S. 10-year Treasury yields over 5 percent and investors largely ignoring the New Zealand central bank's first market intervention in 22 years.

The New Zealand dollar posted its largest decline in 15 months at one point after the Reserve Bank of New Zealand sold its own currency, but there was only limited impact on carry trades in which investors buy high-yielding currencies like the New Zealand dollar funded by borrowing low-cost currencies such as the Swiss france or the Japanese yen.

"Have the conditions for the carry trade altered? No," said Joe Trevisani, chief market analyst at FX Solutions, in Saddle River, New Jersey. "Everyone is looking over their shoulder but for now we are still close enough to highs on the kiwi that if things calm down, it will go higher."

The U.S. dollar briefly peaked just above 1.2400 Swiss francs , before settling at 1.2380 francs, up 0.3 percent from late Friday.

The New Zealand dollar fell 1.7 percent to US$0.7510 , well off highs of US$0.7640 reached on Friday, the strongest level since the currency was floated in 1985.

The U.S. dollar climbed for the fourth consecutive session against the euro, with the euro down 0.1 percent at $1.3354 .

The RBNZ intervention to curb the New Zealand dollar came four days after the central bank surprised markets by raising its key interest rate to 8 percent, the highest benchmark rate in the industrialized world.

Central bank intervention is one of the biggest risks to carry trades, but the modest impact on the broader market showed the resilience of the seemingly ubiquitous trading strategy.

"After months of warning, the action (by the RBNZ) backs up the central bank's stance," Camilla Sutton, currency strategist with Scotia Capital in Toronto, wrote in a note.

"Fall-on effects on carry have been evident, but remain somewhat muted. We would expect today's news to benefit the Australian dollar/New Zealand dollar cross ... ," she said.

Against the yen, the New Zealand dollar tumbled 1.6 percent to 91.47 yen . The dollar was little changed against the yen at 121.74 yen .

The spread of the implied benchmark U.S. interest rate in December 2008 over the euro zone equivalent was near its widest in three months, with fixed-income markets reflecting low implied chances that the Federal Reserve would have to loosen monetary policy this year or next.

"We think that as a result of the repricing of the U.S. yield curve here and the capitulation in terms of U.S. growth deceleration ... the dollar deterioration is likely to pause over the very short term," Jack Malvey, chief global fixed income strategist with Lehman Brothers, said at the Reuters Investment Outlook Summit.

"But in a 12- to 18-month period we still envision the dollar to weaken particularly against Asian currencies."

With no major U.S. economic data on Monday, dealers kept liquid currencies, other than the New Zealand dollar, in narrow ranges, waiting for the May U.S. retail sales report on Wednesday.

Dealers said robust risk appetite, supported by gains in global equity markets, could mean buyers dip their toe back into the New Zealand dollar market later this week, barring any further action from the central bank.

The Australian dollar slipped 0.2 percent versus the U.S. dollar to US$0.8435, but it jumped 1.5 percent against the New Zealand dollar to NZ$1.1219 .

© 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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