FOREX-Dollar wobbles after U.S. job data cements Fed stimulus hopes


* Euro/dollar near 2-year high after US payrolls datadisappoints

* September job growth 148,000, below forecast of 180,000

* Dollar index near this year's low

* Aussie eyes CPI data

By Hideyuki Sano

TOKYO, Oct 23 (Reuters) - The dollar wobbled near two-yearlow against the euro on Wednesday after disappointing U.S. jobsdata cemented expectations that the Federal Reserve will keepits stimulus in place at least until early next year.

Data showed U.S. employers added far fewer workers thanexpected in September, suggesting the U.S. economy may have lostsome momentum even before a damaging 16-day partial shutdown ofthe federal government.

"It's becoming difficult for the Federal Reserve to reduceits stimulus this year," said Shinichiro Kadota, currencystrategist at Barclays.

On Tuesday the euro rose to as high as $1.3792, itsstrongest level since mid-November 2011. It last stood at$1.3780.

The common currency, also benefiting from hopes of arecovery in the euro zone economy, hit a four-year high of135.52 yen on Tuesday. It traded at 135.26 yen inearly Asian trade.

U.S. nonfarm payrolls increased by 148,000 workers lastmonth, below economists' median forecast of 180,000. While thejob count for August was raised, employment gains in July wererevised lower to the weakest level since June 2012.

A majority of U.S. primary dealers polled by Reuters nowbelieve the Federal Reserve will not start cutting its current$85 billion a month bond buying until March.

That view put pressure on the dollar index, which fell toits weakest in eight months at 79.182 on Tuesday and last stoodat 79.259, near this year's low of 78.918 marked inFebruary.

The dollar did not make much headway against the yen, eventhough rising expectations of continued Fed stimulus tends toboost risk appetite and hurt the safe-haven yen.

The dollar stood at 98.15 yen, stuck in a familiartrading range between 97 and 100 in the past few weeks.

"The latest market move confirms that the dollar/yen canrise only so much as long as there are expectations of a Fedstimulus," Osamu Takashima, chief currency strategist atCitigroup Securities in Tokyo, said in a report.

The Australian dollar stood near a 4-1/2-month high of$0.9730 touched on Tuesday, having retraced a half of itsApril-to-August fall.

The currency traded at $0.9704, near importantresistance from its 200-day moving average at 0.9749.

An immediate focus is Australian CPI data for the thirdquarter due at 1130 a.m. (0030 GMT), with economists expecting annual headline CPI inflation to ease to 1.8 percent from 2.4percent in the second quarter.

A higher than forecast inflation reading could dampenexpectations of a rate cut by the Australian central bank andfurther boost the Aussie dollar.

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