* Dollar down, euro, yen and franc profit from halt in
* Aussie dollar, Swedish crown slide after weak jobs numbers
* Euro recovers from talk of negative deposit rate
* Focus on U.S. retail sales later in day to give dollar
By Patrick Graham
LONDON, Feb 13 The dollar lost almost half a
percent against the safe haven yen and Swiss franc and fell back
from overnight gains to the euro as a rally in global shares
halted on Thursday.
The Australian dollar, looking in better shape this month
after a 10 percent slide since October, dived almost 1 percent
after an unexpectedly weak domestic jobs report. Sweden's crown
also fell on the back of a similarly poor data.
A strong dollar against its major currency peers is a
central bet for many banks this year but the sharp move higher
in U.S. Treasury yields that had been expected to deliver that
trend has so far failed to materialise.
One explanation is that a sell-off in emerging markets, the
other side of a shift in global capital due to the Federal
Reserve reining in monetary stimulus, has benefitted other
currency areas at least as much as the dollar.
"The dollar's safe haven status has been eroded and as
equities come off, the dollar index is also a bit lower," said
Peter Kinsella, strategist with Commerzbank in London.
The dollar index is down 0.2 percent at 80.494.
Against the yen, the dollar was down 0.4 percent in early
European trade at 102.09 yen, with dealers citing
support for the U.S. currency around 101.90 yen. They said there
were Japanese exporters orders to buy yen at 102.50-70 yen.
"Just on the basis of the charts that (102.70) looks like a
stretch," Kinsella said.
Against the euro, the dollar fell 0.2 percent to 1.3626.
Weekly U.S. jobless claims and January U.S retail sales
data due later on Thursday may offer further direction.
The Aussie was a big loser among major currencies in the
last quarter of 2013, hit by slowing growth in China and a
central bank campaign of rate cuts aimed at weakening the
currency and prodding the economy back into life.
That move had seemed to be nearing an end earlier in
February when the Reserve Bank dropped its easing bias and
scaled back its verbal campaign against the dollar.
The jobs data on Thursday, however, stiffed expectations for
a net gain of 15,000 jobs in January, instead showing another
3,700 Australians out of work. Unemployment rose to 6.0 percent,
the highest since July 2003 and above forecasts.
The Aussie fell as much as 1.1 percent, before
recovering to trade at $0.8949.
UBS analyst Gareth Berry argued that, with the Fed halting
the flow of dollars that has propped up the Aussie over the past
year, the currency would now see more impact from the two full
percentage points cut off base rates since the end of 2011.
"There was minimal currency reaction to the first 175 bp
worth of rate cuts," he said. "Now the shoe is very much on the
other foot, as the market reaction to the soft employment data
"We look for the Aussie to drop towards $0.86 over the next