* Australian and New Zealand dollars both rise vs greenback
* Indian rupee posts biggest one-day gain in month and a
* Danish crown retreats from near three-month high
(Recasts, updates with New York open, changes dateline and
By Daniel Bases
NEW YORK, April 25 Investors moved to the safety
of the yen and Swiss franc on Friday, unnerved by escalating
tensions between the West and Russia over Ukraine, and also took
advantage of higher yielding Pacific currencies.
Mixed U.S. data in recent weeks has left investors without a
clear trend, which is now being trumped by the geopolitical
concerns in Europe, a combination that has made placing big bets
on currency movements high risk endeavors.
"Neither of these two themes are dominant and if you play on
one you get hit with the other, which is why today I think we
are seeing a little bit of buying of Pacific currencies," said
Steven Englander, global head of G10 FX strategy at CitiFX in
"I wouldn't say the economic news out of Asia has been good
but it is far from the eye of the storm, and if you can pick up
a bit of yield there, people are sitting around saying, Why
not?" he added.
The dollar fell to 102.02 yen, down 0.28 percent on
the day and its worst levels in a week. The greenback traded in
a narrow range against the Swiss franc, slipping 0.07 percent to
0.8805 franc, having fallen to a one-week low of 0.8798 franc
earlier in the day.
The Australian dollar bounced from a 2-1-2 week nadir,
trading at $0.9283, up 0.21 percent. The New Zealand
dollar climbed 0.16 percent to $0.8584. The greenback
fell 0.82 percent against the Indian rupee to 60.60. The rupee
currency snapped a three-day losing streak and posted its
biggest single-day gain in a month and a half.
With tensions between Ukraine and Russia high, Ukrainian
special forces launched a second phase of their operation in the
east of the country on Friday, an official on the presidential
staff said. Ukraine's forces killed up to five pro-Moscow rebels
"There has been a slight boost in risk aversion which is
supporting the yen," Credit Agricole FX strategist Manuel
"But geopolitical risks are not having too much of an impact
on currencies, with most investors still focused on growth
prospects. If risk sentiment improves, the yen will be sold
off," he said.
The euro was little changed, adding just 0.04 percent to
Earlier in Europe, volumes in euro/Danish crown trades
picked up for a second day, according to Reuters Matching. The
euro recovered from a near three-month low against the crown
of 7.4614 to trade at 7.4647 crowns.
The crown had soared after the Danish central bank surprised
the market by raising the rate on certificate of deposits and
ending a regime of negative interest rates in a bid to stem
outflows and support the currency.
(Additional reporting by Anirban Nag in London and Masayuki
Kitano in Singapore; Editing by Leslie Adler)