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Friday September 21, 2007 - 10:59:45 GMT
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FOREX NEWS-Euro slips vs dollar as PMI data weighs

FOREX-Euro slips vs dollar as PMI data weighs

Fri Sep 21, 2007 6:53am EDT

(Changes byline, adds quotes, updates prices)

By Gertrude Chavez-Dreyfuss

LONDON, Sept 21 (Reuters) - The euro slipped against the dollar on Friday after weaker-than-expected euro zone manufacturing data for September dragged it from a fresh record high.

The euro zone report helped the dollar recover from 15-year lows against basket of major currencies, analysts said. The dollar has been pounded in recent sessions after an aggressive rate cut by the Federal Reserve this week.

"Certainly today, we're getting a pullback on the euro/dollar. That's normal, although the pullback has been relatively small," said Naeem Wahid, currency strategist at Halifax Bank of Scotland Treasury Services.

Data showed on Friday that euro zone private sector growth slowed to a two-year low in September, as new orders plunged, making any further interest rate hike this year unlikely.

The figures provide clear evidence that turmoil which has seen stock and foreign exchange markets swinging wildly and the European Central Bank pumping temporary funds into money markets to alleviate soaring rates has affected the real economy.

At 1028 GMT, the euro was down 0.1 percent on the day against the dollar at $1.4058 <EUR=>, after rising to a record high at $1.4120 according to Reuters data.

The euro trade weighted index also hit a lifetime peak at 108.84 <EUR=ECBF>. But the euro was stronger versus a broadly weaker yen, trading 0.8 percent higher at 162.30 <EURJPY=>.

ECB policymakers have kept up generally hawkish rhetoric in contrast to the U.S. where further rate cuts are expected.

A half percentage point cut in the fed funds rate to 4.75 percent has tarnished the allure of dollar-denominated assets. Analysts see this trend continuing given expectations that the Fed may cut rates again this year.

"This whole move lower in the dollar started with the U.S. cutting rates on Tuesday and it does appear that the Federal Reserve is in a reflationary stance and that is positive for euro/dollar," said Wahid.

Earlier in the session, ECB executive board member Lorenzo Bini Smaghi said constant commentary on exchange rates from European politicians undermines the credibility of the bank [nL21470117]. His comments had little impact on the market, however. The U.S. dollar <CAD=> fell to C$0.9939 against the Canadian dollar to hit its weakest level in 31 years, after having breached parity on Thursday for the first time since late 1976. The greenback last traded at C$1.0004, flat on the day.

Against a basket of currencies (.DXY: Quote, Profile, Research), the U.S. currency fell to a fresh 15-year low at 78.398, but recovered to 78.750, up 0.2 percent.


Comments from Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke on Thursday that global financial losses stemming from disarray in the U.S. subprime mortgage market has "far exceeded even the most pessimistic estimates" did few favours for the dollar as they suggest more credit woes may be on the horizon.

The dollar, however, gained against the yen as traders felt comfortable putting risky carry trades back on the table, which involve selling the Japanese currency for higher-yielding units. The Fed rate cut took some of the sting from the impact of credit problems on the U.S. economy, analysts said.

The dollar rose 0.7 percent against the yen to 115.45 <JPY=>. The Australian <AUDJPYR=> and New Zealand dollars <NZDJPY=R> were up 0.8 percent and 0.6 percent versus the yen, respectively.

(Additional reporting by Simon Falush)

© 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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