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FOREX-Dollar climbs to 2-month high vs yen day after Yellen

Friday, 15 Nov 2013 | 11:42 AM ET

* Yen slides as dovish Yellen comments boost riskier assets

* Yen hits 2-month low versus dollar

* Yellen suggests U.S. stimulus to remain for now

NEW YORK, Nov 15 (Reuters) - The dollar climbed to a fresh two-month high against the yen on Friday after Federal Reserve Vice Chair Janet Yellen lifted investor appetite for higher-risk assets by defending the U.S. central bank's current stimulus measures.

Comments widely interpreted as confirming Yellen's dovish stance and showing there would be no reduction of stimulus anytime soon dented the low-yielding yen, which typically falls when investors are looking to take on risk.

She was nominated by President Barack Obama to succeed current Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke, whose term expires at the end of January.

"The take away from Janet Yellen's comments (Thursday) was that a Federal Reserve led by her would leave many of the current policies in place, providing very little disruption," said Camilla Sutton, chief FX strategist at Scotiabank in Toronto.

The dollar rose 0.2 percent to 100.22 yen, having touched a high of 100.43 yen earlier in the global trading day and giving it the potential to target the Sept. 11 high of 100.60 yen.

The yen fell broadly, with sterling hitting a four-year high against the Japanese currency.

"The dollar/yen exchange rate broke a series of lower highs dating back to its multiyear peak, and indeed the surge offers evidence that it may yet continue higher," said David Rodriguez, quantitative strategist at DailyFX in New York.

Options markets showed some investors betting on dollar strength against the yen in the weeks to come.

However, Yellen's dovish comments put little downward pressure on the dollar against currencies which have benefited most from the flood of Fed liquidity in the banking system. Against a basket of currencies, the dollar eased marginally at 80.959.

"The dollar only reacted very moderately as Yellen signaled continuity," said George Saravelos, currency strategist at Deutsche Bank in London.

But he also said the remarks were enough to spark a rally in riskier assets and weigh on the yen.

The Australian and New Zealand dollars, which offer higher yields than many other currencies and often gain when investors' risk appetite increases, both rose. The Australian dollar traded up 0.5 percent at $0.9361 while the New Zealand dollar rose 0.6 percent to $0.8319 cents.

The euro was up 0.2 percent at $1.3482 after touching a six-day peak of $1.3505. The euro rose against the yen , however, hitting a two-week high of 135.25 yen.

For the week, the dollar gained 1.1 percent against the yen, its third straight weekly advance. The euro gained 0.8 percent against the dollar this week.

Despite Friday's gains, analysts said it remains under pressure from the disparity between the U.S. and European economies - underlined by weak euro zone GDP numbers on Thursday which kept alive the possibility of more central bank action to stimulate growth.

U.S. industrial production dipped unexpectedly in October as output at power plants and mines declined, but a third straight month of gains in manufacturing output suggested the economy remained on a moderate growth path.