* Yen falls to one-month lows vs U.S. dollar
* Syria less of a worry for now as military strike delayed
* Upbeat European, China PMI reports help lift sentiment
* Dollar index at one-month high amid Fed tapering
* Aussie dollar jumps after RBA holds rates steady
By Hideyuki Sano and Ian Chua
TOKYO/SYDNEY, Sept 3 The safe-haven yen stood
near one-month lows against the dollar on Tuesday, having fallen
broadly as fresh signs of a pickup in global manufacturing
activity helped lift risk appetites.
The market had already begun to unwind much of last week's
safe-haven trades as worries about an imminent military strike
against Syria eased after U.S. President Barack Obama decided to
seek congressional approval.
The dollar rose as high as 99.705 yen, near its Aug.
2 peak of 99.955 yen, after having gained more than 1 percent on
In one positive technical sign, the dollar has broken above
its triangle holding pattern since May, though traders said
offers from Japanese exporters and option-related selling near
100 yen have blocked the currency's advance for now.
"I expect the dollar to be supported amid expectations that
the Federal Reserve will start tapering its quantitative
easing," said Kyosuke Suzuki, director of forex at Societe
Generale in Tokyo.
Traders expect the Fed to start reducing its stimulus at its
policy meeting on Sept. 17-18, unless U.S. payroll numbers due
on Friday hugely disappoint.
Yet market players see choppy trading ahead as the market
braces for uncertainty on many fronts, including who will
succeed Fed chief Ben Bernanke, not to mention tensions
surrounding Syria and debates in the U.S. Congress on how to
deal with it.
The dollar also hit a one-month high against a basket of
currencies, with the dollar index rising as high
as 82.331, its highest level since Aug. 2.
The moves came amid a U.S. market holiday on Monday and
following surveys that showed robust growth in European
factories and a rebound in China manufacturing activity. The
reports lifted prospects for broad-based global recovery on the
back of a U.S. revival.
As the dollar held the upper hand, the euro stayed near a
one-month low of $1.3173 hit last week despite encouraging PMI
surveys in Europe. It last stood at $1.3181, little
changed on the day and still flirting with the 38.2 percent
retracement level of its July 9-Aug. 20 rally.
The Australian dollar popped higher after the Reserve Bank
of Australia kept interest rates on hold as expected while
staying mum on the policy outlook.
The currency briefly reclaimed 90 U.S. cents and last stood
at 90.45 cents up 0.6 percent on the day, pushing
further above a three-year trough around $0.8848 plumbed last
"This was the Reserve Bank really trying to avoid sending
any message out. The statement is very short, it's very similar
to the previous one, it's basically the Reserve Bank trying not
to attract attention to itself ... It's very much in a
data-dependent mode," said Brian Redican, senior economist at
Macquarie Bank in Sydney.
Market players also kept an eye on emerging market
currencies, some of which have been hit by worries that an end
in the Fed's stimulus could prompt investors to shift funds back
to U.S. markets.
So far on Tuesday, the Indonesian rupiah and the
Indian rupee were under pressure due to big current
accounts deficits in those countries but most other Asian
currencies were stable.