TOKYO, Oct 4 The dollar stayed above an all-time low against the euro on Thursday after d

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TOKYO, Oct 4 (Reuters) The dollar stayed above an all-time low against the euro on Thursday after data the previous day showed growth in the US labour market, boding well for Friday's important employment report.

The dollar pulled further away from a record low against a basket of major currencies after the Institute for Supply Management's employment measure and a report on private-sector payrolls by ADP Employer Services indicated growth in the job market last month.

The data fed hopes that the highly watched monthly payrolls report for September could show a similar turnaround after reporting the first contraction in four years in August.

''Investors expect the dollar to extend gains against the euro if Friday's non-farm payrolls report shows a fair reading,'' said Hideki Amikura, a forex manager at Nomura Trust and Banking.

''It is quite possible to see a counterreaction to recent sharp losses in the dollar,'' Amikura said.

The fall in August payrolls was enough to prompt the Federal Reserve to lower interest rates by 50 basis points to 4.75 per cent last month. The aggressive rate cut and expectations of more monetary easing have prompted a sharp sell-off in the dollar.

The euro was little changed from late US trade on Wednesday at $1.4095, having retreated from its all-time high of $1.4283 hit on electronic trading platform EBS earlier this week.

The dollar index, a gauge of the greenback's value against a basket of six major currencies, edged up 0.1 per cent to 78.614.

The index struck a lifetime low around 77.660 on Monday.

The dollar eased 0.1 percent against the yen to 116.60 yen.

Trader said Japanese exporters sold the dollar after the US currency rose to a six-week high of 116.78 yen the previous session.

The US employment data remains the main focus in the market, but investors are looking ahead to the European Central Bank's policy meeting later in the day at which the central bank is seen leaving interest rates on hold at 4 per cent.

The market awaits post-meeting comments from ECB President Jean-Claude Trichet to see what central bankers think of the euro's strength, as well as the state of the euro zone economy.

The Bank of England concludes its two-day meeting later in the session. The central bank is widely expected to hold interest rates at 5.75 percent when it announces its rate decision at 1100 GMT.

REUTERS SBA AS0556

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