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US dollar stays stable in Asian markets

TOKYO--The U.S. dollar was sluggish in Asian trade Monday, but held on to last week's gains against the euro after Mario Draghi said the European Central Bank was ready to ease monetary policy soon.

The greenback fetched 101.95 yen in afternoon trade in Tokyo, up slightly from 101.83 yen in New York Friday.

The euro was quoted at US$1.3757 and 140.27 yen, against US$1.3758 and 140.10 yen.

On Monday, traders are watching a speech by ECB Vice President Vitor Constancio “to see what kind of options are considered” inside the ECB, Shinichiro Kadota, a currency analyst at Barclays, said in a note to clients.

On Friday in New York, the dollar rose about 2 cents to US$1.3758 per euro in the wake of ECB chief Draghi's statement after the close of a policy meeting on Thursday.

In a surprise departure from the bank's previous policy of never pre-committing on interest rate moves, Draghi said monetary policy-makers were now sufficiently concerned to take more action.

The governing council is “dissatisfied” with the current path of inflation and is “not prepared to accept it as a fact of nature,” Draghi said.

As a result, the governing council “is comfortable with acting next time,” he said.

But he added that “we want to see the staff's projections that will come up in early June.”

The dollar was firmer against most other Asian currencies, rising to 32.61 Thai baht from 32.56 baht on Friday, to 1,024.70 South Korean won from 1,023.45 won.

The greenback also rose to SG$1.2495 from SG$1.2480, and to 43.76 Philippine pesos from 43.74 pesos.

It eased to 11,523.00 Indonesian rupiah from 11,532.50 rupiah.

The Australian dollar advanced to 93.60 U.S. cents from 93.57 cents while the Chinese yuan was flat at 16.33 yen.

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