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Monday October 22, 2007 - 11:26:15 GMT
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FOREX NEWS-Dollar up in position shift, carry unwind lifts yen

Mon Oct 22, 2007 7:21am EDT

(Recasts, updates prices, adds quotes and comment, changes byline)

By Jamie McGeever

LONDON, Oct 22 (Reuters) - The dollar rallied on Monday from fresh lows set shortly after the Group of Seven finance chiefs' meeting over the weekend as traders booked profits on bets against the greenback and continued to buy the yen versus a host of currencies.

Having hit record lows against the euro and a basket of major currencies earlier on Monday, the dollar bounced back sharply in thin trade to more than half a percent up on the day.

The greenback chalked up gains of over 1 percent against the Canadian and New Zealand dollars, while falling equity markets and rising risk aversion among investors pushed the yen sharply higher across the board.

Growing risk aversion dragged down stocks and government bond yields globally, encouraged further unwinding of yen-funded carry trades and triggered a reversal of trades that had been extremely profitable: long oil and gold, and short dollars.

"It's a very thin market and there's a little bit of risk aversion with stocks off. There's an unwinding of dollar shorts out there," said Peter Frank, senior currency strategist at Societe General in London.

"But there was certainly nothing dollar-friendly in the G7 statement. And it's very thin out there ... which suggests this (dollar rebound) will be reversed again pretty soon."

The statement from G7 finance ministers and central bankers at the weekend made no specific mention of the dollar's recent weakness, which prompted investors to immediately resume the broad-based dollar selling.

"There was always a risk of a pullback, said Jeremy Stretch, currency strategist at Rabobank. "It was profit taking ahead of New York coming and liquidity is relativley thin."

At 1115 GMT the euro was down 0.7 percent on the day at $1.4205 <EUR=>, having traded at a fresh lifetime high of $1.4348 earlier in the day.

The dollar index was up 0.7 percent at 77.75 (.DXY: Quote, Profile, Research), rebounding from a post-Bretton Woods low of 77.093 struck earlier.

FED SPEAKER UP NEXT

The euro sank 1.5 percent against the yen to 161.40 yen <EURJPY=>, well off last week's 2-1/2 month peaks of 167.72 yen, while the dollar was off 0.7 percent against the Japanese currency at 113.65 yen <JPY=>.

But the greenback fared much better against most other currencies, up over 1 percent against the Canadian dollar at C$0.9775 <CAD=>, while the New Zealand dollar was off 1 percent at $0.7390 <NZD=>.

Sterling was down 0.8 percent at $2.0360 <GBP=>.

Major European stock markets were mostly off at least 1.5 percent, gold was down 2 percent <XAU=> and oil down more than 1 percent (CLc1: Quote, Profile, Research) as investors drew in their horns across asset classes.

Market players expect the jittery market conditions, crumbling housing market and weak U.S. bank earnings to keep the Federal Reserve on track to cut interest rates this month.

This should keep the dollar under pressure in the coming weeks and months, particularly after the G7 communique specifically called on China to let its yuan currency rise in value more quickly and made no reference to the dollar. [ID:nG7G8].

Among speakers today are Washington Federal Reserve Governor Randall Kroszner at 1215 GMT and Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago President Charles Evans at 2300.

© 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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