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Monday July 30, 2007 - 10:11:15 GMT
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FOREX NEWS-Firmer stocks calm FX markets, high yielders recover

FOREX-Firmer stocks calm FX markets, high yielders recover
Mon Jul 30, 2007 5:24AM EDT

(Changes byline, updates prices, recasts)

By Toni Vorobyova

LONDON, July 30 (Reuters) - The yen slipped from three-month highs against the euro and the dollar, while the high-yielding Australian and New Zealand currencies reversed earlier losses on Monday as firmer stock markets calmed investors' risk aversion.

Concerns that troubles in the high-risk U.S. subprime mortgage sector will spill over into the wider credit markets and beyond the United States have led to volatile trading in recent sessions as banks' risk aversion gauges jumped to multi-year highs.

But European stock markets (.FTEU3: Quote, Profile, Research) managed to stage a recovery on Monday even as German industrial bank IKB cut its earnings target citing subprime devlelopments.

In foreign exchange markets, this made investors more willing to take risk by re-entering carry trades where low-yielders like the yen are borrowed to fund higher return investments in places like Australia, New Zealand or Britain.

"U.S. equity futures are rather better this morning, European markets are also better and credit spreads seem to be tightening a little bit. For the moment at least, calm is returning to asset markets and that's making carry look more attractive," said Adam Cole, senior currency strategist at RBC Capital Markets.

By 0900 GMT, the New Zealand dollar was steady at US$0.7647 <NZD=>, recovering from a one-month low of US$0.7563 posted in Asian trade. The Australian dollar was up 0.2 percent versus the greenback <AUD=> after posting its biggest weekly decline in 2-1/2 years in percentage terms last week <AUD=>.

With no first tier data on either side of the Atlantic on Monday, analysts said trading was likely to remain volatile, charting the ups and downs of news from the credit sector.

RETURN TO CARRY

The euro was up 0.3 percent against the yen at 162.26 yen <EURJPY=>, rallying back from a three-month low earlier on Monday of 160.67 yen, according to Reuters data. The dollar was up 0.1 percent against the yen at 118.75 yen <JPY=>, also bouncing back from an earlier three-month low.

The yen broadly shrugged off a crushing defeat for Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's ruling camp in upper house elections on Sunday that threatened policy gridlock, with the conservative leader vowing to stay in his post [ID:nT227312].

The recent gains in the Japanese currency and weakness in the high yielders made current levels attractive for re-establishing carry trades, traders said.

The euro was up 0.2 percent against the dollar at $1.3660 <EUR=>, while sterling was up 0.1 percent at $2.0258 <GBP=>.

FOCUS TO SHIFT TO DATA?

While credit worries will dominate sentiment, there's a heavy data flow this week too. July non-farm payrolls, global purchasing managers' indices, the Chicago PMI and interest rate decisions from the European Central Bank and Bank of England could all move currencies.

The ECB and BoE are expected to keep rates on hold at 4 percent and 5.75 percent, respectively, although both are still seen raising rates at least once more this year.

"A deteriorating growth outlook is perhaps the most serious risk to the risk appetite environment and this is more likely after last week's extremely poor U.S. housing data, so this week's regional PMIs and non-farm payrolls report will be important," wrote RBS strategists in a client note on Monday.

© Reuters 2006. 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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