FOREX-Euro extends falls on dismal German growth forecast
* Euro falls to nine-day low vs dollar
* Bundesbank cuts 2013 German GDP growth forecast to 0.4 pct
* Strong earthquake in Japan briefly lifts yen
* U.S. job data at 1330 GMT next focus for market
LONDON, Dec 7 (Reuters) - The euro fell to a nine-day low against the dollar on Friday after the Bundesbank slashed its growth outlook for Germany, with the single currency at risk of more losses on prospects of a euro zone rate cut. The yen briefly rose after a strong earthquake struck north-east Japan, triggering a one-metre tsunami. A far more powerful earthquake in March 2011 led to a sharp rise in the yen on expectations Japanese investors would repatriate funds held abroad back home. The euro was down 0.3 percent at $1.2927, having hit a low of $1.2917 as it retreated further from a seven-week peak of $1.3127 hit on Wednesday. Germany's central bank said on Friday it expected Europe's largest economy to grow just 0.4 percent in 2013, and pointed to risks of a recession as the euro zone debt crisis takes its toll. This drove the common currency lower. It had lost around one percent on Thursday after European Central Bank President Mario Draghi said policymakers had discussed cutting borrowing costs and pushing the deposit rate into negative territory.
The deposit rate is the rate the ECB pays for money banks park at the central bank. A negative rate would decrease the appeal of holding euros. A drop below chart support at the euro's 55-day moving average at $1.2914 could see it target the Nov. 28 low of $1.2880. Against the yen, the euro was down 0.3 percent at 106.45 yen , well below a seven-month high of 107.96 yen hit on Wednesday. "The discussion on (negative) interest rates is what started the slide in the euro in the last 24 hours and the Bundesbank report has just compounded that," said Neil Mellor, currency strategist at Bank of New York Mellon.
U.S. EMPLOYMENT DATA Traders said further exchange rate moves might be limited in the run-up to U.S. non-farm payrolls data due at 1330 GMT. Analysts polled by Reuters expect a sharp slowdown in employment growth due to the disruption caused by the hurricane Sandy. The dollar was last at 82.33 yen after hitting a session low of 82.175 yen after news of the earthquake in Japan. "It is just a knee-jerk reaction and we are just 5-10 pips from where we are," said Derek Halpenny, European Head of Global Currency Research at bank of Tokyo Mitsubishi. "...It is not likely to be as significant (as the earthquake of March 2011)." The dollar edged away from a 7-1/2 month high of 82.84 yen hit last month on expectations of more aggressive easing by the Bank of Japan. Economists expect U.S. non-farm payrolls to have risen only 93,000 last month after October's 171,000, according to a Reuters survey of economists. Any weakness in the closely-watched report would reinforce expectations that the Federal Reserve will announce a new round of Treasury bond purchases to replace its expiring Operation Twist programme at next week's meeting and could weigh on the dollar. "Even if the payrolls data is weak, if the dollar's support below 82 yen is confirmed, then the dollar could test this year's high above 84 yen next week," said Hiroshi Maeba, head of FX trading Japan for UBS in Tokyo.