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Euro edges up in Asia ahead of meetings

TOKYO--The euro edged up in Asia on Thursday ahead of a slate of central bank meetings as investors focus on whether European policymakers will hint at further monetary easing.

In Tokyo afternoon trading, the European single currency bought US$1.3385 and 136.93 yen, against US$1.3384 and 136.66 yen in New York on Wednesday.

The dollar strengthened to 102.30 yen against 102.11 yen.

While no new European Central Bank (ECB) stimulus measures are expected this time, some analysts say Thursday's ECB meeting could spark more euro selling if its chief Mario Draghi hints at the need for further action.

“The BOE (Bank of England) and ECB hold meetings today, but very little is expected of either,” National Australia Bank said.

Traders are watching “how (Draghi) characterizes the present state of the economy, particularly as the risks to Germany's economy are rising and the effect of Russian sanctions and geopolitical risk may have lowered their outlook.

Currency markets have been wobbly with Israel's invasion of Gaza and rising tensions in the Ukraine crisis hitting investor sentiment.

On Wednesday, Russian President Vladimir Putin slapped one-year bans and limits on food and agricultural imports from nations that have imposed sanctions on Russia over its defiant stance on Ukraine.

The Bank of Japan also kicks off a two-day policy meeting on Thursday.

The dollar was higher against most other Asia-Pacific currencies.

It rose to 32.24 Thai baht from 32.17 baht on Wednesday, to SG$1.2495 from SG$1.2485, to 1,034.80 South Korean won from 1,034.55 won, to 11,773.80 Indonesian rupiah from 11,760.00 rupiah and to 43.95 Philippine pesos from 43.74 pesos.

The dollar weakened to 61.29 Indian rupees from 61.35 rupees and to NT$30.00 from NT$30.01.

The Australian dollar slipped to 92.87 U.S. cents from 93.03 cents, while the Chinese yuan changed hands at 16.58 yen against 16.60 yen.

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