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Dollar weakens as traders await key data

TOKYO--The dollar extended the previous day's losses against the yen and euro in Asia Thursday as traders await the release of key data from the United States and eurozone later in the day.

In the afternoon in Tokyo the dollar fetched 101.83 yen, down from 101.87 yen late in New York and well off the 102.20 yen in Tokyo earlier Wednesday.

The euro bought 139.64 yen compared with 139.70 yen while it rose to US$1.3714 from US$1.3701.

There appeared to be little impact from news that Japan's economy grew at the fastest pace in more than two years in the first three months of the year.

The greenback sank in New York as a surprisingly high 0.6 percent jump in U.S. producer price inflation for April tempered hopes for an early hike in interest rates. Analysts' average estimate was for a 0.2 percent rise.

Attention now turns to the release of eurozone economic growth data and consumer inflation for April, which come at a time of growing fears of deflation in the currency bloc.

The chief economist at the European Central bank (ECB) said it cannot allow eurozone inflation to fall even more, adding that policymakers were preparing a range of measures to bring price rises back up to more acceptable levels.

“We mustn't allow inflation to remain too low for too long,” ECB executive board member Peter Praet told the weekly newspaper Die Zeit.

Another weak reading will pile further pressure on the ECB to further ease monetary policy to kick-start spending.

The dollar was mixed against Asia-Pacific currencies.

It rose to SG$1.2509 from SG$1.2494, and to 43.70 Philippine pesos from 43.62 pesos.

However, it fell to 11,446.80 Indonesian rupiah from 11,470.00 rupiah, to 32.45 Thai baht from 32.49 baht.

The dollar dipped to 1,026.44 South Korean won from 1,026.46 won.

The Australian dollar fell to 93.72 U.S. cents from 93.96 cents while the Chinese yuan slipped to 16.30 yen from 16.37 yen.

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