* Risk sentiment hit as U.S. fiscal cliff worries mount
* NZ employment data knocks kiwi dlr lower
* Aussie dlr supported by upbeat jobs data
* Greek parliament approves austerity measures
By Masayuki Kitano and Ian Chua
SINGAPORE/SYDNEY, Nov 8 The safe-haven yen
touched a one-month high versus the euro on Thursday and the
dollar slipped as worries about a looming U.S. fiscal crisis
dampened investors' risk appetite.
The euro briefly nudged higher after Greece's parliament
approved the government's new austerity measures, which were
needed to secure the next tranche of bailout money from
But the single currency quickly gave back those gains. The
euro touched a low of 101.75 yen earlier, the euro's lowest
level against the Japanese currency in about a month.
After trimming some of its losses, the euro stood at 101.94
yen, down 0.2 percent from late U.S. trade on
The dollar slipped 0.1 percent to 79.91 yen, staying
below a six-month high of 80.68 yen set last week.
"The increase in risk aversion will help support the yen on
the crosses as well as the dollar," said Mitul Kotecha, head of
global foreign exchange strategy for Credit Agricole in Hong
The yen stayed firm after rallying on Wednesday as U.S.
stocks skidded 2.4 percent in their worst performance in
over five months, and as U.S. benchmark Treasury yields
"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
The U.S. economy faces a real threat of a renewed recession
next year depending on how Washington deals with the fiscal
cliff -- about $600 billion in government spending cuts and
higher taxes that will be enacted next year if Congress can't
agree on new arrangements to reduce the deficit.
In a sign of trouble ahead in resolving the "fiscal cliff",
Democratic and Republican leaders on Wednesday claimed new but
conflicting election "mandates" on how and when to deal with tax
increases and spending cuts that threaten a U.S. recession.
Markets were now waiting for the outcome of the European
Central Bank policy meeting later on Thursday, although no rate
move is expected.
Against the greenback, the euro eased 0.1 percent to $1.2753
, staying near a two-month low of $1.2736 hit on
AUSSIE AND KIWI
The Australian dollar held steady at $1.0408.
Earlier, the Aussie dollar touched an intraday high at
$1.0433 after data showed that Australian employment rose by
more than expected in October, forcing the market to lengthen
the odds of an interest rate cut by Australia's central bank
before the end of the year.
The Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) had surprised some
traders earlier in the week, when it held off from easing
monetary policy and kept interest rates steady at 3.25 percent.
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 New Zealand dollar last changed hands at $0.8168
, having stood at about $0.8255 before the data was
"Combined with the previously reported low inflation print
for Q3, the RBNZ may consider further cuts to the already low
cash rate," said Paul Bloxham, chief economist for Australia &
New Zealand at HSBC.