FOREX-Dollar down vs yen on stops; Fed minutes, Bernanke loom

Wed Jul 10, 2013 2:29am EDT

Related Topics

* Dollar falls vs yen on stop-loss selling -analyst

* Focus on Fed minutes and Bernanke speech due Wednesday

* Aussie pares loss after slipping on China trade data

By Masayuki Kitano and Ian Chua

SINGAPORE/SYDNEY, July 10 (Reuters) - The dollar fell against the yen on Wednesday on position squaring, with the near-term focus on whether the minutes of the Federal Reserve's June meeting and a speech by Chairman Ben Bernanke will give fresh ammunition to dollar bulls.

The dollar slipped 0.6 percent to 100.59 yen, pulling away from a six-week high of 101.54 yen set on Monday on trading platform EBS.

"There's been a stop run at about 100.90," said Gareth Berry a G10 FX strategist for UBS in Singapore, referring to stop-loss selling of the dollar versus the yen.

"Nothing really to read into this. It is actually stops driven so there is no macro data behind it," he added.

The euro and sterling took a breather after having tumbled the previous day, dented by growing expectations that central banks in the euro zone and Britain will have to keep policy loose for a long time.

The Australian dollar bounced back after falling earlier on Wednesday as weak Chinese trade data reinforced expectations of a slowdown in China, a major export market for Australia.

The Australian dollar rose 0.1 percent to $0.9182. The Aussie had hit an intraday low of $0.9125 after the Chinese trade data.

Later on Wednesday, investors will scrutinise the minutes of the Fed's June monetary policy meeting and a speech by Bernanke, watching for fresh hints on when the Fed will start reducing its asset purchases, and whether there will be any catalysts for further dollar buying.

"The thing to watch for really is a sense of how widespread the view is on the FOMC that tapering should begin sooner rather than later. I think that message will come across pretty clearly," said Berry at UBS, regarding the Fed minutes.

The euro inched up 0.1 percent to $1.2787. It had hit a three-month low of $1.2755 on Tuesday, after European Central Bank policymaker Joerg Asmussen said the central bank's guidance on interest rates staying at a record low extended beyond 12 months.

The ECB later issued a statement saying Asmussen had not intended to give any guidance on the exact length of time for which it expects to keep rates at record lows.

"Although the ECB subsequently clarified and backtracked on this statement, euro zone policymakers clearly remain in a dovish mode and keen to keep rate expectations skewed to the downside," analysts at BNP Paribas wrote in a client note.

Standard & Poor's downgrade of Italy to BBB from BBB-plus on Tuesday gave investors a further reason to sell the common currency.

The dollar index, which measures the greenback's value against a basket of currencies, eased 0.1 percent to 84.528 , edging away from a three-year high of 84.753 set on Tuesday.

"Dollar buying will continue. With rising Treasury yields, there is no incentive to sell the dollar, particularly against the euro," said Masashi Murata, senior currency strategist at Brown Brothers Harriman in Tokyo.

Sterling rose 0.1 percent to $1.4886. The pound had hit a three-year low of $1.4814 on Tuesday after surprisingly weak UK manufacturing data kept alive expectations of more aggressive monetary easing by the Bank of England.

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