Risk currencies' rally pauses, yen edges up



* Dollar index steady

* Aussie, Kiwi dollars fall vs yen

* Graphic: World FX rates Link

LONDON, Oct 21 (Reuters) - The Australian and New Zealand dollars slipped from highs hit overnight, and the dollar eased versus the yen on Thursday, in what analysts said was profit-taking following a strong rally.

The U.S. dollar index was flat on the day at 0740 GMT, at 93.642 =USD . Versus the Japanese yen, the dollar was down 0.2% at 114.065, having slipped from 114.695 the pair reached on Wednesday, which was the yen's weakest in four years JPY=EBS .

The yen also reversed its recent losses versus the Australian dollar AUDJPY=EBS . The Australian dollar had rallied against the yen in recent weeks, hitting its strongest since 2018 overnight before retreating.

There was no clear trigger for the reversal, but Jeremy Stretch, head of G10 FX strategy at CIBC said that weakness in Asian equities and a pullback in risk appetite may have played a role.

"We've seen a significant run in some of the yen crosses, Aussie-yen being an obvious catalyst, and so we're just seeing a little bit of a consolidation as risk has been under a little bit of pressure overnight," he said.

Asian stocks slipped on Thursday as the upbeat mood that carried the Dow Jones and bitcoin to record highs a day earlier ran out of steam, replaced by fresh worries about the weakening Chinese property sector as a possible default by China Evergrande Group looms within days.

European shares opened lower.

CIBC's Stretch said he expects the pullback to be temporary, and for the Australian and New Zealand dollars to continue gaining.

At 0747 GMT, the Australian dollar was down 0.3% against the U.S. dollar at $0.7491 AUD=D3 , compared to the $0.75465 it reached overnight.

The New Zealand dollar was also down 0.3% NZD=D3 .

Britain's pound was down just 0.1% against the dollar, at $1.3808 GBP=D3 , supported by expectations that the Bank of England will raise rates.

The euro was down 0.1% at $1.16395 EUR=EBS , still close to Tuesday's three-week peak of $1.1670.

In cryptocurrencies, bitcoin was down around 1.3% at $65,129 BTC=BTSP . On Wednesday it hit a new all-time high of $67,016.50.

Market players say the latest wave of buying has been supported by the launch of the first U.S. bitcoin futures-based exchange-traded fund (ETF) with investors betting this will open a path to greater investment from both retail and institutional investors.

The cryptocurrency ether also hit a fresh all-time high, reaching $4,243 around 0135 GMT on Thursday ETH=BTSP .



World FX rates Link



Reporting by Elizabeth Howcroft; Editing by Emelia
Sithole-Matarise

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