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Thursday July 5, 2007 - 21:16:07 GMT
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Forex News - FOREX-Dollar rises vs euro after gain in US ISM services

FOREX-Dollar rises vs euro after gain in US ISM services
Thu Jul 5, 2007 4:18 PM ET

(Recasts, adds comments, updates prices)

By Vivianne Rodrigues

NEW YORK, July 5 (Reuters) - The dollar rose versus the yen and euro on Thursday as an unexpected gain in U.S. services sector activity eased concerns the central bank may have to cut interest rates later this year.

The greenback erased early losses against the euro after the Institute for Supply Management's non-manufacturing index rose in June to its highest in a year, beating forecasts of a modest decline. For details click on [ID:nN05341137]

Another report, the ADP Employer Services, forecast a higher-than-expected gain in private sector jobs, boosting expectations the Labor Department's monthly payrolls data on Friday will beat expectations as well, analysts said.

"After the strong reading on ISM and a strong ADP jobs report, the market is optimistic about tomorrow's jobs data, which is all very supportive to the dollar," said Andrew Busch, global foreign exchange strategist at BMO Capital Markets in Chicago.

In late afternoon trading in New York, the euro traded down 0.10 percent at $1.3597, well below a high of $1.3660 hit earlier in the session.

The dollar fell against sterling after the Bank of England raised interest rates, as expected, to 5.75 percent and said inflation risks remained to the upside. The U.S. currency hit a 26-year low versus the pound on Wednesday.

The European Central Bank kept rates on hold at 4 percent but suggested it would raise borrowing costs again in coming months to fight inflation. Lately, the dollar has been losing its allure to yield-hungry investors as rates rise overseas.

Many traders remain bearish on the dollar, but with sterling already at 26-year highs and the euro also just short of record peaks against the dollar, some were locking in short-term gains.

"Sterling and the euro have both had a pretty good run, and what we're seeing is that with the Bank of England and ECB out of the way, people are taking some profits," said John McCarthy, director of foreign exchange trading at ING Capital Markets in New York. "The medium-term trend, though, is unchanged."

Sterling was down 0.25 percent at $2.0117, retreating from a peak of $2.0202 hit shortly after the BoE rate rise.

The dollar was up 0.2 percent at 122.88 yen . The Japanese yen, the world's lowest-yielding major currency, also hit another record low of 167.29 per euro , according to electronic trading platform EBS.

ECB President Jean-Claude Trichet said on Thursday that he he did not intend to sway the market's expectations about the future path of monetary tightening in the euro zone.

Analysts took this to mean that futures prices indicating a two-in-three chance of an ECB rate hike by September, and a dead certainty of a rise by October, were on the mark.

"The ECB is not going to raise rates in the next month or so, but they will definitely hike them again before the end of the year," said Busch at BMO.

In contrast, the Federal Reserve is expected to keep interest rates on hold until the end of the year, with futures pricing in a one-in-ten chance of a rate cut.

The day's biggest winner was the New Zealand dollar, which climbed 0.15 percent to US$0.7822 after hitting US$0.7881, the highest since the currency was floated in 1985.

(Additional reporting by David McMahon)

© 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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