* Spain bailout request eyed but uncertainty remains
* Yen undermined by BOJ easing speculation, Softbank deal
NEW YORK Oct 16 The euro rose to a one-week
high against the dollar and four-week peaks against the yen and
sterling on Tuesday after an early media report indicated
Germany was open to a precautionary line of credit for Spain.
The euro was already higher, helped by persistent talk Spain
may soon ask for a bailout and tentative signs of improving
confidence in the German economy, but the single currency jumped
when Bloomberg News reported that two German lawmakers said
Germany is "open to Spain seeking a precautionary credit line
from Europe's rescue fund."
Some of those gains were pared when Norbert Barthle, budget
spokesman for Chancellor Angela Merkel's centre-right Christian
Democrats (CDU), said that the Bloomberg report had
"overinterpreted" comments he made on the issue and that he had
not been referring to Spain.
But other factors were enough to keep the euro in positive
territory and closer to session highs than lows.
A German ZEW survey showing analyst and investor sentiment
rose for the second month in a row in October was also positive
for the euro even as it remained in negative territory.
Adding to positive sentiment, Prime Minister Antonis Samaras
said on Monday Greece will conclude talks to continue receiving
the bailout funds it needs but officials said the talks would
most likely not be finished by Thursday's EU summit.
"It's a risk-on market with good news out of Europe," said
Marc Principato, director of SMB Forex Trading And Education in
New York. "The larger technical structure has been implying
strength since the 1.2800 area low and the euro/dollar is
consolidating recent gains."
The euro was last up 0.6 percent on the day at
$1.3028, with the peak at $1.3060, its highest level in a week.
A break above $1.3072 would target the mid-September high of
Some US$5.543 billion in euros changed hands using Reuters
The euro rose as high as 103.07 yen and touched
81.02 pence against the pound.
A Spanish aid request would prompt the European Central Bank
to start buying Spanish bonds to bring down its borrowing costs.
Analysts and traders say this would buoy the euro, though
uncertainty remains over when Spain will make a move.
Although hopes that Spain could ask for financial aid at a
European Union summit this week have waxed and waned, euro zone
officials have always said it may do so next month. The request
would probably be dealt with alongside a revised loan program
for Greece and a bailout for Cyprus.
"I am still bullish on euro/dollar; the next stage will be
Spain to ask for the bailout and that will boost the euro," said
Daragh Maher, currency strategist at HSBC In London. He forecast
the euro to rise to $1.35 by year-end.
Speculation of more easing from the Bank of Japan weighed on
the Japanese currency. The dollar rose to 78.95 yen, its
strongest since Sept. 19. It was last at 78.93 yen, up 0.4
"There seems to be pressure piling on the Bank of Japan to
take action later this month. People are expecting more stimulus
from the BOJ," said Katsunori Kitakura, associate general
manager of market making at Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Bank in Tokyo,
referring to the bank's policy meeting on Oct. 30.
Japanese mobile operator Softbank's $20 billion purchase of
U.S. third-largest wireless company Sprint Nextel, the
largest foreign acquisition ever by a Japanese firm, has also
encouraged dollar buying against the yen.
But the yen could be resilient if worries over global growth
strengthen. The Japanese currency tends to rise in times of
economic stress due to Japan's net creditor status.
The dollar also fell to a four-week low against the Swiss