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US dollar recoups losses before data release


THE US dollar rebounded from a near one-month low versus the Japanese yen on Thursday in choppy trading, with markets dogged by risk aversion before US data later in the day.

"We are not seeing a big selloff in the dollar as there is a broad undertone of risk aversion in the markets," said Morten Lund, a currency strategist at Nordea.

Against the yen, the US dollar pulled away from early lows and was broadly steady at 107.12 yen. It was still down more than 1 per cent from a high of 108.44 yen hit earlier in the week.

Expectations that the US economy would continue to outperform other major economies and put pressure on the US central bank to slow its rate cutting cycle were dampened this week following the reporting of weak manufacturing surveys.

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Data on Tuesday presented a dire picture of the sector with the Institute for Supply Management reading falling to its lowest level in more than 10 years.

Investors are now waiting for the ISM services report later in the day and Friday's employment report to confirm or quell recession worries.

The US dollar has broadly gained in recent weeks as investors added long positions on expectations that other major economies, led by Europe, will underperform the United States.

Latest futures data show long dollar bets at a three-month high.

While interest rate expectations from the US Federal Reserve haven't changed dramatically this week, with money markets expecting policymakers to cut interest rates by 32 basis points by the end of the year, traders are buying other currencies.

Marc Chandler, chief market strategist at Bannockburn Global Forex said the euro posted back-to-back gains yesterday for the first time in three weeks and is trying to extend its winning streak to three sessions, which it has been unable to do for two months.

"It seems like there's been a bit of a sea change in market sentiment," said Nick Twidale, co-founder of Sydney-based trade finance provider Xchainge, although he added that the United States still looked in better shape than Europe.

Elsewhere, sterling was little moved despite a surprise contraction in the services sector as investors waited to receive a formal European Union response to Britain's latest Brexit offer.

The pound drifted 0.1 per cent higher to US$1.2315. REUTERS

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