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* Dollar off 13-year high vs yen on reported Obama comments
* Upbeat jobs report spurs talk of Fed rate hike in September
* Euro recovers on higher Bund yields, German data
By Anirban Nag
LONDON, June 8 (Reuters) - The dollar fell from near 13-year highs against the yen on Monday on a media report that U.S. authorities were uncomfortable with their strong currency, prompting some traders to trim favourable bets in the greenback.
U.S. President Barack Obama was quoted in a Bloomberg report citing an unnamed French official as saying that a strong dollar was a problem. The report came after a group of French reporters met President Francois Hollande on Monday ahead of the second day of the G7 summit.
Although the White House denied the report, investors are wary given U.S. officials, including from the Federal Reserve, have in the past few months raised concerns about a strong currency impacting growth and exports.
“Such a pick-up in verbal intervention would represent at least a temporary threat for a weaker dollar given that it comes in the wake of recent buying and this should be particularly true against currencies such as yen,” said Todd Elmer, currency strategist at Citi.
The dollar fell 0.3 percent at 125.28 yen, having hit a 13-year high of 125.86 yen on Friday after a robust U.S. jobs report.
“The dollar is off this morning because of the headline about a strong dollar from Obama,” said Alvin Tan, currency strategist at Societe Generale.
“Nevertheless, the dollar ended firm last week and the U.S. data, especially average earnings, seems to support the case for a rate hike. We are expecting one in September.”
A Reuters poll conducted after the payrolls data on Friday showed Wall Street’s top banks expect the Fed to begin raising interest rates in September, followed by another before the end of the year.
New York Fed President William Dudley said on Friday he still expects the Fed to be in a position to raise interest rates later this year even though he has concerns about progress in the labour market.
Speculators increased bets against the yen, with net short positions rising to their largest level in four months last week.
There was little reaction to data released on Monday that showed Japan’s economy expanded more than initially expected in January-March as companies ramped up investment.
The euro edged up on rising Bund yields and better-than-expected German industrial output data which suggested that Europe’s largest economy got off to a good start in the second quarter. The euro changed hands at $1.1130, up 0.1 percent on the day.
Nevertheless, the euro was likely to find it tough to gain much as it remained hostage to shifts in sentiment over Greece’s debt problems. (Editing by Hugh Lawson and Janet Lawrence)