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Thursday October 16, 2014 - 01:07:52 GMT
Reuters - www.reuters.com

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FOREX-Dollar sharply lower after weak data raises growth fears

8:50pm EDT

* More U.S. data in focus after Wall St's tumble overnight

* Recovery by equities seen key to stopping dollar slide

By Shinichi Saoshiro

TOKYO, Oct 16 (Reuters) - The dollar was sharply lower on Thursday, its appeal deeply dented after poor U.S. data sparked growth concerns that sent equities tumbling and Treasury yields plunging.

Already on shaky ground after being buffeted by lingering growth concerns over the past few sessions, a string of downbeat economic data including weak retail sales and manufacturing activity numbers dealt Wall Street a fresh blow overnight, sending the S&P 500 down by as much as 4.4 percent.

Safe-haven U.S. Treasuries rallied in response, with the benchmark 10-year yield momentarily slicing below the 2 percent threshold to a 17-month trough.

The dollar fell to a five-week trough against the yen and a three-week low versus the euro as yields slid. The greenback came off lows as Treasury yields partially retraced their decline, although bargain hunters were half-hearted in their bids.

"There are those out there buying the dollar on dips, but it is difficult for them to commit themselves unless U.S. equities first recover and stop the decline in Treasury yields," said Junichi Ishikawa, a market strategist at IG Securities.

"There was a fair number of long positions on the dollar that had built up and the recent volatility has provided a good opportunity for fast money accounts to clear out their positions before their books close in November," he said.

Against the yen, which tends to benefit from risk aversion, the dollar was little changed at 105.885 after hitting the five-week low of 105.195.

A slide in Tokyo stocks to a 4-1/2 month low boosted demand for safe-haven yen and firmly capped the dollar.

The greenback has come hurtling down from a six-year high of 110.09 hit at the start of the month, when expectations of an early rate hike by the Federal Reserve were significantly stronger amid a rosier outlook for the U.S. economy.

The euro was little changed, fetching $1.2817 and within reach of a three-week high of $1.2835 hit overnight.

The common currency, battered by prospects of the European Central Bank easing monetary policy further to stave off deflation in the euro zone, had stooped to a two-year low of $1.2500 earlier this month before the dollar's fortunes took a turn for the worse.

The euro bounced back against the yen, up 0.3 percent at 135.92 after hitting an 11-month low of 135.04 overnight.

The dollar index fell 0.3 percent to 84.848 after slipping to a three-week low of 84.472 overnight.

The currency market will once again brace for U.S. data, such as September industrial output and weekly jobless claims due later in the session, and their impact on equities and Treasuries.

Commodity currencies such as the Australian dollar, sensitive to potential changes in global demand, slipped 0.4 percent to $0.8796 after gaining more than a percent overnight. (Editing by Eric Meijer)

Thomson Reuters 2014. All rights reserved.



 

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