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FOREX-Dollar slips vs euro after Bernanke's comments

* Euro edges up vs dollar on Bernanke and stops - traders

* Bernanke: Fed committed to easy policy for as long as needed

* Euro's rise vs dollar helps euro set 4-year high vs yen

By Masayuki Kitano and Ian Chua

SINGAPORE/SYDNEY, Nov 20 (Reuters) - The dollar edged lower versus the euro on Wednesday after U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said the Fed will maintain its ultra-easy monetary policy for as long as needed.

The euro rose 0.1 percent to $1.3554. Earlier on Wednesday the single currency touched a high of $1.3584 on trading platform EBS, its loftiest level since Nov. 1.

Traders said the euro's rise gained a bit of added steam due to stop-loss buying, adding that its push higher versus the dollar helped lift it against the yen as well.

Bernanke's speech "was enough to ram euro/dollar up through the stops and kick cross/yen higher," said a U.S.-based currency trader.

In a speech that echoed dovish comments by his nominated successor, Janet Yellen, Bernanke said that while the economy had made significant progress, it was still far from where officials wanted it to be.

Bernanke said officials want evidence of durable job growth before scaling back the Fed's bond-buying stimulus. He added that interest rates were likely to remain near zero for a considerable time after the asset purchases end.

The euro held steady against the yen at about 135.54 yen , having set a four-year high of 135.95 earlier, its highest level versus the Japanese currency since October 2009.

The dollar eased 0.1 percent to 100.03 yen, backing away from a two-month high near 100.43 yen set last Friday.

Analysts said the low-yielding yen is still the preferred funding currency for carry trades, with the Bank of Japan expected to maintain its ultra-loose monetary policy at its policy decision on Thursday.

Later on Wednesday, the yen may take its cues from a report on planned reforms to Japan's public pensions including the Government Pension Investment Fund.

People familiar with the process say the final report will likely add details and a clearer direction to a preliminary September report that recommended the GPIF shift away from very low-yielding Japanese government bonds. The report is expected to be released at around 0830 GMT.


The Australian dollar slipped 0.2 percent to $0.9413 , after having met solid offers at levels near $0.9450.

Not helping were comments from Reserve Bank of Australia Assistant Governor Guy Debelle that a fall in the Aussie would be preferable, an oft-stated position by the central bank.

The U.S. dollar had already been unsettled after China signalled on Tuesday it was willing to tolerate a stronger yuan, meaning it is less likely to buy U.S. dollars to keep its currency pinned down.

China's central bank chief, Zhou Xiaochuan, vowed to quicken the process of full yuan convertibility that will see the bank exit from regular intervention on the currency market.

For years, the central bank has bought up foreign currency, mostly U.S. dollars, to curb strength in the yuan fuelled by the country's export engine.

"Although no timeline was provided, the news should be supportive of further yuan appreciation," analysts at Barclays Capital wrote in a note to clients.

"We continue to forecast USD/CNY at 6.00 in one year. The impact of further CNY FX changes for other Asian currencies is more ambiguous. That said, the recent flurry of reform news out of China has helped boost Asian currencies and equities."

Later on Wednesday the focus will be on a batch of U.S. data, including retail sales and consumer prices, as well as the minutes of the Fed's October policy meeting.