April 27, 2017 / 7:30 PM / in 8 months

Euro dips against U.S. dollar on dovish ECB tone

NEW YORK (Reuters) - The euro dipped against the U.S. dollar on Thursday after European Central Bank chief Mario Draghi said policymakers did not discuss removing the bank’s easing bias on monetary policy, while the dollar jumped against the Swedish crown after the Riksbank extended its bond-buying.

Euro and Dollar banknotes are seen in a picture illustration taken October 19, 2016. REUTERS/Leonhard Foeger

The euro initially rose to a session high of $1.0932 EUR= on language in the ECB’s statement, read by Draghi, which said the euro zone’s recovery was increasingly solid and downside risks had diminished.

But other parts of the statement and Draghi’s replies to questions stressed the barriers the ECB still faces before beginning to tighten the ultra-loose financing conditions it has maintained for nine years.

“Draghi wasn’t as hawkish as people had hoped,” said Greg Anderson, global head of foreign exchange strategy at BMO Capital Markets in New York.

“Upside event risk for the euro is gone,” he added, noting that there was a tendency to bet against the euro in part given the likelihood of centrist Emmanuel Macron defeating anti-EU candidate Marine Le Pen in the final round of France’s presidential election.

The euro was last down 0.3 percent against the dollar at $1.0875, near a session low of $1.0852.

Sweden’s Riksbank extended its bond-buying and predicted its first interest rate hike in mid-2018, later than previously projected. That sent the dollar as much as 1.3 percent higher against the Swedish crown to a session peak of 8.8730 crowns per dollar SEK=.

The Bank of Japan also signaled it would maintain its massive stimulus effort, despite offering its most optimistic assessment of the Japanese economy in nine years.

Governor Haruhiko Kuroda conceded that public perceptions of future price increases remained subdued, which disappointed some traders hoping for a more hawkish inflation outlook and pushed the dollar higher against the yen.

“That lower inflation forecast would suggest continued accommodative monetary policy,” said Eric Viloria, currency strategist at Wells Fargo in New York.

The dollar was last 0.2 percent higher against the yen at 111.22 yen after rising as much as 0.5 percent to a session high of 111.59.

The dollar index .DXY, which measures the greenback against a basket of six major rivals, was last up 0.1 percent at 99.104.

The dollar was down 0.8 percent against the Mexican peso at 19.0300 pesos MXN= after U.S. President Donald Trump said he would not scrap the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).

Reporting by Sam Forgione; Additional reporting by Ritvik Carvalho and Patrick Graham in London; Editing by Meredith Mazzilli and Chizu Nomiyama

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