FOREX-Euro falls for 4th day vs dollar; yen gains broadly

Julie Haviv

* U.S. GDP data beats expectations

* Euro falls broadly on Greece uncertainty

* Euro zone ministers to hold call on Greece next week

* Dollar retreats after hitting 4-month high vs yen

NEW YORK, Oct 26 (Reuters) - The euro fell against the dollar for a fourth straight day on Friday, hitting a two-week low on concerns about political uncertainty in Greece and fears it may miss its austerity targets.

The euro, down 0.7 percent on the week, weakened on a report from the International Monetary Fund that said Greek debt would be above the target agreed with international lenders. The Greek government said a deal on Athens' latest austerity package was being held up by opposition from a coalition ally.

Euro zone finance ministers, called the Eurogroup, will hold a conference call next Wednesday afternoon to discuss Greece, the spokesman for the Eurogroup president said on Friday.

Uncertainty about when Spain will request a bailout that could trigger the European Central Bank's bond-buying program also clouded the outlook for the euro.

``People are still concerned about Spain asking for a bailout and Greece remains a problem too. I remain bearish on the euro,'' said Lutz Karpowitz, FX strategist at Commerzbank.

The euro hit a low of $1.2881, its lowest since Oct. 11. It last traded at $1.2928, down 0.1 percent on the day.

The single currency dropped more sharply against the safe- haven yen to last trade at 103.14 yen, down 0.7 percent on the day.

The euro has struggled this week on grim economic data from the euro zone as well as fears about Spain and Greece and fresh signs that the region's powerhouse, Germany, is struggling.

Traders said the single currency was likely to be caught in a $1.2800/1.3200 range until Spain asks for aid. Offers were cited around $1.2960 and above $1.3000.

U.S. GDP data did little to buoy the dollar.

The Commerce Department said U.S. gross domestic product expanded at a 2.0 percent annual rate. That follows 1.3 percent growth in the second quarter, and was just a tick above the 1.9 percent estimate of analysts polled by Reuters.

``What we have seen transpire over the past week is an intense focus on earnings and the paring back of forecasts for global growth, so today's GDP data should soothe some of those fears,'' said Camilla Sutton, chief currency strategist at Scotiabank in Toronto.

``The focus should now rapidly shift to next week's nonfarm payrolls and U.S. elections the following week,'' she said.


The yen recouped losses against the dollar after touching a four-month low, although it looked vulnerable to expectations of policy easing by the Bank of Japan on Oct. 30.

The dollar was last down 0.8 percent at 79.64 yen. Some strategists said a weekly close above 80 yen would be a strong bullish signal that may prompt further dollar demand.

The greenback, at current prices, is set to end the week 0.4 percent higher against the yen, adding to last week's rise of 1.1 percent and helped by widening spreads between two-year U.S. Treasuries and Japanese government bond yields, with which the dollar/yen has a strong correlation.

``Dollar/yen has risen well ahead of itself in the past few weeks and while on a multi-month basis we expect it to rise, there will be some profit taking in the short term to smoothen out the move,'' said George Saravelos, G10 FX strategist at Deutsche Bank.

The BOJ is expected to ease monetary policy at its meeting on Tuesday by expanding asset purchases, and it could make a stronger commitment to keep pumping cash until its 1 percent inflation target is attained.