* Risk sentiment hit as U.S. fiscal cliff worries mount
* Greek parliament approves austerity measures
* NZ employment data knocks kiwi dlr lower
* Aussie jobs, Spanish bond auction, ECB meeting next focus
By Ian Chua
SYDNEY, Nov 8 The safe-haven yen hovered near a
one-month high versus the euro on Thursday, having rallied
broadly amid a rout in risk appetite as markets fretted about
the U.S. fiscal issues now the presidential election was over.
The euro blipped up in reaction to headlines saying the
Greek parliament had approved the government's new austerity
measures, which were needed to secure the next tranche of
bailout money from international lenders.
But the single currency quickly gave back those gains,
following a torrid session overnight that saw it shed nearly 1
percent versus the yen. It was at 102.07 yen, having
fallen as far as 101.80, a low not seen since mid-October.
The dollar slid below 80.00 yen, retreating further
from six-month highs of 80.68 set last week. It hit a one-week
low of 79.76, before clawing back to 79.95.
The rally in the yen came as U.S. stocks skidded 2.4
percent in their worst performance in over five months, and as
U.S. benchmark Treasury yields fell sharply.
"Following President Obama's election victory, we believe
markets will begin to price in the eventuality of temporarily
going over the fiscal cliff as the likelihood of a short-term
compromise declines," Barclays Capital analysts wrote in a
"Reduced chances of a political compromise poses significant
downside risk to US/global growth and threaten our long FX carry
positions in INR, BRL and RUB, funded with JPY," they added.
Offering some hope, top U.S. Republican John Boehner said
House Republicans were willing to work with the White House to
avoid the fiscal cliff and said they would accept new revenue
under the right conditions.
Markets were now waiting for the outcome of the European
Central Bank policy meeting, although no rate move is expected.
Spain, which has yet to seek a bailout, is looking to raise up
to 4.5 billion euros in the bond market.
Against the greenback, the euro skidded to a two-month low
of $1.2736, this in turn helped drive the dollar index
to a two-month high of 80.924.
The Aussie dollar also lost ground against its U.S.
counterpart, recoiling to $1.0406 from a seven-week
peak of $1.0480.
Still, it remains among the best major performing currency
this week after the Reserve Bank of Australia surprised some by
not cutting interest rates on Tuesday.
The Aussie's fortunes now hangs on local jobs data due at
0030 GMT. Forecasts centred on a flat outcome and an
unemployment rate of 5.5 percent. Any positive surprises should
underpin the Aussie, but a weaker-than-expected report could see
the currency come under fresh pressure.
Immediate support is seen at the session low around $1.0391,
followed by $1.0352, a level representing the 38.2 percent
retracement of its Oct 8-Nov. 7 rally.
Investors punished the New Zealand dollar after data showed
the country's unemployment rate rose to its highest in more than
13 years in the third quarter.
The kiwi dollar lost about 60 pips in reaction to
the data, reaching a one-week low around $0.8177.
"Combined with the previously reported low inflation print
for Q3, the RBNZ may consider further cuts to the already low
cash rate and NZD intervention may also be a consideration,"
said Paul Bloxham, chief economist for Australia & New Zealand