* Euro firmer after German survey beats expectations
* Dollar also supported before U.S. retail sales
* Yen down on Nikkei report on corporate tax cut
By Anirban Nag
LONDON, Aug 13 (Reuters) - The euro rose against the dollar and jumped
against the yen on Tuesday after a stronger-than-expected German ZEW sentiment
survey added to optimism that a euro zone recovery is picking up pace.
The yen was weak across the board on a report in business daily Nikkei, which
said Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is considering a corporate tax cut as a
way to offset the potential economic drag of a planned hike in sales tax.
Investors who have been betting Abe will succeed in pulling Japan out of
deflation have been hoping for more steps to boost the economy on top of
aggressive fiscal and monetary policies.
The euro was up 1.1 percent against the yen at 130.34 yen, while against the
dollar it rose to a session high of $1.33175 after the ZEW survey was
The German ZEW investor sentiment index showed economic conditions improved
in August from July. It came after data last week showed German industry output
in June surged to its fastest rate in nearly two years.
"The euro is reacting to stronger than expected data, but we are not
expecting it go much higher until the central bank is prepared to change its
policy stance," UBS currency strategist Geoffrey Yu said .
The European Central Bank (ECB) has pledged to keep policy accommodative and
is even prepared to lower interest rates to support an economic recovery.
The euro has drawn some support from signs of stabilisation in the euro zone
economy in recent weeks with yield differentials between U.S. Treasuries and
German Bunds narrowing for much of this month.
Euro zone GDP data due on Wednesday is expected to show the region emerged
from recession in the second quarter.
U.S. RETAIL SALES
The dollar will be tested by Tuesday's U.S. retail sales reading. A Reuters
poll forecast sales likely grew 0.3 percent in July after a 0.4 percent increase
Strong U.S. data will encourage the Federal Reserve to trim its monthly
purchase of about $85 billion in bonds, perhaps as early as September.
"We are looking at a strong retail sales number and that should boost the
dollar," UBS's Yu said. "Unlike the ECB, the Fed is looking to withdraw
The dollar was up 1 percent against the yen at 97.92 yen , rebounding from a
seven-week low of 95.81 yen touched last Thursday with traders attributing much
of the move to the Nikkei report.
"There have been concerns that Abe may make changes to the planned tax hike, backpedalling on reforms. But if you believe today's media report, Abe is heading for a right direction," Nomura senior FX strategist Yunosuke Ikeda said.
The tax cut report boosted Japanese shares and provided further support for
dollar/yen, which has had strong a correlation with Japanese equities in recent