Euro dips ahead of central bank meeting

Wed Feb 6, 2013 7:18am EST
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By Marc Jones

LONDON (Reuters) - The euro dipped on Wednesday as investors waited to see if the European Central Bank would respond to the currency's recent jump which threatens to delay any regional economic recovery.

The Japanese yen, at the centre of concerns that some countries are trying to devalue their currencies to boost growth, regained some ground having fallen close to a three-year low on expectations a new Bank of Japan governor will ease policy aggressively once in office.

The ECB is widely expected to keep rates at a record low 0.75 percent when it meets on Thursday, but focus will be on whether policymakers are worried about the euro's 6.5 percent rise in the last two months.

"Euro-dollar looks quite comfortable to the low to mid 1.35's and I think that is where we will stay ahead of tomorrow's ECB meeting," said National Australia Bank strategist Gavin Friend.

"When you look at the big fall in the yen, it just interests me whether they (ECB) see that as a disorderly move. It is raising eyebrows around the world and the euro's rise is part of that."

Against the dollar, the euro dipped to $1.3532 but was well within this week's range of $1.3450 - $1.3710.

The dollar touched 94.075 yen, its highest since May 2010 before profit taking saw it drop back to 93.76 yen, while the euro also rose as high as 127.71 yen, its strongest since April 2010, before it also eased.

BOJ Governor Masaaki Shirakawa has said he will step down on March 19, opening the way for a successor supporting the kind of expansionary policies the government favors.   Continued...

Visitors cast their shadows on the logo of the Tokyo Stock Exchange, prior to a ceremony marking the end of trading in 2012 at the Tokyo Stock Exchange in Tokyo December 28, 2012. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon