FOREX-Dollar rises vs yen, falls vs euro as investors eye data
* Dollar rises against the yen, falls against the euro
* Euro off four-week lows but ECB dovish bias to check gains
NEW YORK, June 27 (Reuters) - The dollar rose against the yen but fell against the euro on Thursday after U.S. data indicated the Federal Reserve has time before it slows its efforts to stimulate the U.S. economy
The dollar index, which measures the U.S. currency against a basket of currencies, was steady at 82.914, still close to a three-week high of 83.025 touched on Wednesday.
The dollar has benefited from a rise in U.S. yields as more investors price-in the probability the Fed will start to taper its $85-billion monthly asset purchase program later this year.
That scenario gained greater credibility last week when Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said the U.S. economy was expanding strongly enough for the central bank to begin slowing the pace of its bond-buying stimulus later this year.
But Thursday's data was not overwhelming enough to bring forward investor expectations for the timing of the official end to quantitative easing.
U.S. consumer spending rebounded in May and new applications for unemployment benefits fell last week, suggesting the economy remained on a moderate growth path.
"U.S. data continues to paint the picture that there is no need for the Fed to come off QE anytime soon," said Boris Schlossberg, managing director of foreign exchange strategy at BK Asset Management in New York.
The dollar was up 0.5 percent at 98.22 yen, edging toward Monday's peak of 98.70 yen. But traders said its rise could be capped due to reported Japanese offers above 98.30 yen and further large demand to sell the dollar above 98.70 yen.
The euro edged up 0.2 percent to $1.3038 pulling away from Wednesday's low of $1.2983.
The broad trend for dollar strength over the coming months on expectations of reduced Fed stimulus will remain, said Asmara Jamaleh at Intesa Sanpaolo in Milan. U.S. data this week and next week could see the dollar drop if it lags forecasts, but any falls would provide a buying opportunity, she said.
Other U.S. data due on Thursday includes pending home sales for May.
Analysts were a bit more bleak on the euro's outlook after it closed below its 200-day moving average at $1.3073 and European Central Bank officials said the ECB was not ready to wind down stimulus.
The euro/dollar formed a death cross with the 100-day simple moving average at $1.3071, now below the 200-day SMA at $1.3072. With the 50-day SMA at $1.3077, and it is probable that there will be both a second and third occurrence of a death cross in coming days when that SMA moves below both the 100-day and 200-day simple moving averages.
A death cross occurs when the shorter-term moving average drops below a longer-term term moving average.
"We are bullish on the dollar, while the euro is expected to weaken as some of the comments from ECB policymakers have been fairly dovish," said Tom Levinson, currency analyst at ING.
The Australian dollar rose 0.4 percent to $0.9310, after hitting a 33-month low of $0.9145 on Monday.
Sterling fell to a trough of $1.5243 on Thursday, its lowest in more than three weeks, after an unexpected downward revision to UK year-on-year first quarter growth.