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US dollar mixed on Singapore trade floor

SINGAPORE--The U.S. dollar was mixed in quiet Asian trade Tuesday, holding on to advances against the yen enjoyed in New York, but investors were tracking events in Ukraine as diplomats try to avert a civil war in the country.

The dollar fetched 102.02 yen in Singapore afternoon trade compared with 102.14 yen in New York late Monday. The euro bought US$1.3880 against US$1.3874.

Analysts said trading was subdued with financial markets in Japan, South Korea and Hong Kong closed for public holidays.

The greenback edged up in U.S. trade, helped by data showing activity in the U.S. services sector, which accounts for the bulk of economic activity, rose more than expected in April.

And Max Ho, new business consultant at CMC Markets in Singapore, said the unit was retaining support due to its safe-haven status in the face of “the looming threat of full-scale intervention in Ukraine by Russia.”

Ukraine's military suffered heavy casualties in a stepped up offensive against pro-Russian rebels Monday, as Europe and the head of the United Nations made a last-ditch diplomatic effort to reel the country back from disaster.

Singapore's United Overseas Bank said investors will monitor the publication of U.S. March trade data later Tuesday, “in light of last week's very soft advance gross domestic product reading” for the first quarter of the year.

The greenback was mixed against other Asia-Pacific currencies.

The U.S. dollar eased to SG$1.2507 from SG$1.2508 in Singapore on Monday, to 1,025.50 South Korean won from 1,028.23 won, to 11,522 Indonesian rupiah from 11,535 rupiah and to 44.37 Philippine pesos from 44.40 pesos. The dollar rose to 32.37 Thai baht from 32.34 baht.

The Australian dollar rose to 93.12 U.S. cents from 92.82 cents after the country's central bank on Tuesday kept interest rates at a record low 2.5 percent, citing only tentative improvement in non-mining sectors of the economy.

The Chinese yuan bought 16.37 Japanese yen, compared with 16.34 yen on Monday.

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