* Investors pin hopes on Deutsche negotiating lower US fine
* UK PM May says Brexit process to begin by March 2017
* U.S. nonfarm payrolls report in focus
TOKYO, Oct 3 The dollar started off the week on
a firmer footing on Monday as fears about Deutshe Bank receded
and investors looked ahead to this week's U.S. jobs data, while
sterling hit seven-week lows after Britain set a March deadline
to begin its exit from the European Union.
Sterling was down 0.4 percent at $1.2931 after
British Prime Minister Theresa May said that she would trigger
the process for the UK to leave the EU by the end of March. It
earlier touched $1.2902, its lowest level since Aug. 16.
May on Sunday told the ruling Conservative party's annual
conference that she was determined to move on with the process
and win the "right deal".
"The sterling low was hit this morning in very low
liquidity, and there's still two years to go before anything
happens," said Mitsuo Imaizumi, chief currency strategist at
Daiwa Securities in Tokyo. "There is still plenty of time for
investors to buy back the currency."
Risk sentiment benefited from news that Deutsche Bank was
attempting to negotiate a much smaller fine with the U.S.
Department of Justice, though no formal settlement has been
announced yet. The DOJ fined Germany's largest bank $14 billion
earlier in September for what it alleged were sales of toxic
The euro edged down 0.1 percent to $1.1231 but
remained well above Friday's low of $1.1153 hit before hopes of
a reduced Deutsche settlement pulled it higher.
The dollar was last up 0.1 percent at 101.49 yen,
holding above last week's low of 100.085 yen, its weakest since
"The dollar looks firm against the yen after the 100 yen
level was repeatedly tested. However, the upside may be blocked
near 102.00 yen," wrote Marc Chandler, global head of currency
strategy at Brown Brothers Harriman.
The Bank of Japan's quarterly tankan survey of business
sentiment, released early on Monday, showed that Japan's large
manufacturers expect the dollar to average 107.92 yen for the
fiscal year through March 2017.
According to Friday's data from the Commodity Futures
Trading Commission and Reuters calculations speculators boosted
net longs on the U.S. dollar to their highest in six weeks in
the week ended Sept. 27.
The value of the dollar's net long position rose to $9.7
billion from $6.6 billion previously, the data showed.
A key focus for the dollar this week will be the U.S.
nonfarm payrolls report on Friday, which could cement
expectations that the U.S. Federal Reserve is on track to raise
interest rates by the end of this year.
The Australian dollar edged down 0.1 percent to $0.7652
, ahead of a monthly policy decision on Tuesday by the
Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA).
Australia's central bank is widely expected to hold its cash
rate at a record low of 1.5 percent, a Reuters poll of 57
economists found on Friday, following cuts in August and May.
(Reporting by Tokyo markets team; Editing by Shri Navaratnam)