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FOREX-Yen slips as rise in Tokyo shares boosts risk sentiment

Masayuki Kitano
Tuesday, 5 Nov 2013 | 11:48 PM ET

* Cross/yen pairs rise as Tokyo equities push higher

* Dollar index slips, inches away from 7-week high

* Kiwi hits 2-week high following strong local jobs data

SINGAPORE, Nov 6 (Reuters) - The euro edged higher versus the yen on Wednesday as a rise in Tokyo shares bolstered risk sentiment and helped knock the Japanese currency lower, while the New Zealand dollar rose following strong local jobs data.

Currency traders said the yen fell on the crosses as Japanese equities pushed higher after Japan's public broadcaster NHK said Toyota Motor Corp would lift its earnings guidance.

"It seems to be a risk-on move," said a trader for a Japanese bank in Singapore.

The euro rose 0.5 percent to about 133.41 yen, edging away from a one-month low near 132.37 yen set on Tuesday.

The yen slipped broadly, with the dollar rising 0.2 percent to about 98.72 yen.

The euro also regained some footing against the dollar, rising 0.3 percent to $1.3518, pulling away from a seven-week low of $1.3442 set on Monday.

The dollar index, which measures the greenback's value against a basket of currencies, slipped 0.3 percent to 80.516 , down from a seven-week high of 80.930 set on Monday.

The dollar index gave back the gains it made on Tuesday, when an upbeat U.S. report kept alive some expectations the Federal Reserve might scale back stimulus as soon as next month.

An industry report on Tuesday showed U.S. service-sector business activity picked up in October and firms took on workers, an encouraging outcome in a month that saw a political standoff force a partial government shutdown for 16 days.

In contrast, speculation the European Central Bank (ECB) could cut interest rates at Thursday's policy meeting, or at least sound dovish, has weighed on the euro.

After data last week showed a worrying drop in inflation, some analysts suspect the ECB might be forced to add more stimulus soon in order to protect growth.

"We expect the ECB to soon make clear its intentions regarding arresting deflation concerns," analysts at Barclays Capital wrote in a note to clients.

"We anticipate a looser monetary stance to be adopted at the December meeting, but the ECB's intentions to be aired ahead of it. We remain short EUR via a put spread."

Sterling stayed firm after data showed the UK services sector expanded at its fastest pace in 16 years.

Sterling rose 0.3 percent to $1.6094, adding to its 0.5 percent gain on Tuesday.

Investors also warmed to the New Zealand dollar after strong local jobs data strengthened the case for the central bank to start raising interest rates next year.

"All in all, it's a good set of numbers and certainly supportive of the market's expectations for the RBNZ to commence hiking rates in early 2014," said Tom Kennedy, economist at JPMorgan.

The kiwi dollar rose 0.4 percent to $0.8399 and set a two-week high.