* Announcement of speech by Fed's Brainard boosts rate hike
* Speculators raise long U.S. dollar bets in latest week-IMM
TOKYO, Sept 12 The dollar began the week on the
back foot on Monday as a bout of risk aversion underpinned the
yen, though the U.S. currency garnered some support on renewed
talk of a possible rate hike by the Federal Reserve as early as
The perceived safe-haven yen benefited from a drop in global
equities. The dollar was down 0.2 percent at 102.50 yen,
while the euro slipped 0.1 percent to 115.21 yen.
Against the dollar, the common currency edged up 0.1 percent
A spate of Fed speakers kept hopes alive for a September
rate hike, despite some recently disappointing economic data
including only a modest rise in U.S. nonfarm payrolls.
After Boston Federal Reserve President Eric Rosengren
spoke on Friday, odds on a rate hike in September rose to 30
percent probability from 24 percent before his comments.
Monday is the final day on which U.S policymakers can speak
in public before the "blackout period" begins a week before the
Sep. 20-21 meeting. Fed governor Lael Brainard was suddenly
scheduled late last week to give a talk in Chicago on Monday.
"Market participants are wondering if maybe she's being
wheeled out to give the market one last warning of a rate hike
at next week's meeting," Marshall Gittler, head of investment
research at FXPrimus, said in a note.
"The thinking is that if someone as dovish as she is starts
talking like a hawk, people will notice," Gittler said.
Speculators increased their bets on the U.S. dollar for the
first time in six weeks in the week ended Sept. 6, according to
Reuters calculations and data from the Commodity Futures Trading
Commission released on Friday.
Japanese yen net long positions fell to their lowest level
The Bank of Japan, which will also meet the same week as the
Fed, is now studying several options to steepen the bond yield
curve, say sources familiar with its thinking, as authorities
desperately seek out policy tools to revive an economy that has
failed to emerge from stagnation despite years of massive
Geopolitical fears also added to investors' risk aversion.
South Korea's Yonhap News Agency reported on Monday that
North Korea has completed preparations for another nuclear test,
citing South Korean government sources who said the North may
use a previously unused tunnel at its mountainous test site.
Also raising long-term concerns, news that Democratic
presidential candidate Hillary Clinton was diagnosed with
pneumonia and fell ill at a Sept. 11 memorial underscored
concerns about her health less than two months before the
(Reporting by Lisa Twaronite; Editing by Shri Navaratnam)