* Nikkei jumps 2.5 pct, lends support to dollar/yen
* Australian dollar helped by Chinese data
* Possible strike on Syria supports safe-haven currencies
By Anirban Nag
LONDON, Sept 9 The yen fell against the dollar
and the euro on Monday, losing ground after Japanese stocks
rallied following Tokyo's winning bid to host the 2020 Olympics
and an upgrade of second-quarter GDP.
The Olympics win could translate into big gains for the
Japanese economy and a shot in the arm for Prime Minister Shinzo
Abe who is attempting to reflate the economy after decades of
below-par growth and deflation.
The Tokyo bid committee reckons hosting the Olympics would
boost the economy - from construction and higher prices - by 3
trillion yen ($30.14 bln) over the next seven years.
This boosted the Nikkei, which jumped to a five-week
high and since the yen has an inverse correlation with Tokyo
shares, the currency dipped. A sharp upward revision of
second-quarter Japanese gross domestic product also lifted
The dollar rose 0.4 percent on the day to 99.55 yen
having hit a high of 100.11 yen earlier on Monday. The euro rose
0.5 percent to 131.25 yen.
Both the dollar and the euro have gained more than 14
percent this year against the yen as the Bank of Japan embarked
on a massive monetary stimulus programme in April to boost the
"The Olympics bid has added a bit more to the underlying
negative yen trend," said Paul Robson, currency strategist at
RBS Global Banking.
But investors will be wary about selling the yen, or the
Swiss franc, in a big way given concerns of a possible
U.S.-led military strike against Syria. Both currencies are seen
as safe havens during times of crisis. The White House on Sunday
pressed ahead with the uphill effort of persuading Congress to
approve a military strike.
FED TAPERING ON TRACK
Against the yen, the dollar recovered to around levels seen
before Friday's weaker-than-forecast U.S. jobs numbers, which
raised questions about whether the Federal Reserve will begin to
scale back its massive stimulus programme next week.
However, comments by two Federal Reserve officials suggested
stimulus unwinding was still on track.
That gave investors confidence to buy the dollar which has
been underpinned by elevated U.S. bond yields, traders said.
"If the decision comes out in favour of tapering, then it
will be a pretty strong boost to the U.S. dollar," said Gareth
Berry, Singapore-based G10 FX strategist for UBS, referring to
the Fed's policy meeting on Sept. 17-18.
The euro was flat at $1.3175, taking a breather after
Friday's 0.5 percent gain. Investors were keeping a nervous eye
on Rome where the Italian Senate is set to begin a debate on
whether to expel former premier Silvio Berlusconi from
parliament. A decision to expel him could threaten the country's
Meanwhile, the Australian dollar touched a three-week high
at around $0.9222, benefiting from Chinese trade data
that added to evidence that the world's second-biggest economy
may have avoided a sharp slowdown. China is Australia's single
biggest export market.
The Aussie last stood at $0.9205, up 0.2 percent. It barely
reacted to Saturday's national election result, which saw the
conservative Liberal-National Party coalition swept into power,
as that had been expected.