FOREX-Yen soft, dollar at 1-month high as risk appetite trickles back
* Yen falls to one-month lows vs U.S. dollar
* Syria less of a worry for now as imminent strike delayed
* Upbeat European, China PMI reports help lift sentiment
* Dollar index at one-month high amid Fed tapering expectations
* Aussie dollar slips after retail sales, eyes RBA decision
TOKYO/SYDNEY, Sept 3 (Reuters) - 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 appetite.
The market had already started 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 99.705 yen, near its Aug 2 peak of 99.955 yen, after having gained more than 1 percent on Monday.
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.
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 $1.3187, 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 sagged after soft local retail sales data, though it kept much of overnight gains made on improved risk sentiment ahead of an interest rate decision in Australia.
The currency briefly reclaimed 90 U.S. cents before stepping back to $0.8975, down 0.2 percent on the day and not far off a three-year trough around $0.8848 plumbed last month.
The Aussie's near-term focus is an interest rate decision by the Reserve Bank of Australia due at 0430 GMT.
All 23 economists polled by Reuters expect the RBA to leave its cash rate unchanged at a record low 2.5 percent and investors are keen to see if the central bank will signal a clear easing bias. Debt markets are priced for no policy action.
"We expect the statement to strike a neutral tone and indicate that the RBA has reached the trough of its cutting cycle," BNP Paribas FX strategists wrote in a note.
"Hence, while the two-year Australia interest rate swap has move 25 basis points higher during August, there appears scope for it to move higher still and support AUD/USD."
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, most Asian currencies were stable.