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Euro mixed in Asia ahead of EU growth data

TOKYO--The euro was mixed in Asia Thursday as investors awaited second-quarter eurozone growth figures.

In afternoon Tokyo trading, the European single currency fetched US$1.3361 against US$1.3363 in New York, while it rose to 137.07 yen from 136.89 yen.

The dollar — which has initially weakened in New York on stagnant U.S. retail sales for July — strengthened to 102.57 yen from 102.43 yen.

Trading volume was muted with many market players away for Japan's traditional mid-summer holiday.

Investors were focusing on a likely poor report for eurozone economic growth due later Thursday.

Growth in the 18-member bloc was expected to stabilize around 0.2 percent quarter-on-quarter, Credit Agricole said, but concerns about Germany, Europe's top economy, could boost speculation about further easing measures from the European Central Bank (ECB).

The ECB is expected to move again on its monetary policy, after taking unprecedented easing measures in the face of deflation fears.

Despite its falls in recent weeks, the euro was still a sell, Credit Agricole said.

Dollar-yen rates hardly reacted to Japanese data that showed core machinery orders — a leading index of corporate capital spending — rose a weaker-than-expected 8.8 percent in June, after plunging 19.5 percent in May.

But the yen's level Thursday was well below rates the previous day when Tokyo said Japan's economy contracted in the April-June quarter as a sales tax hike dented activity.

The dollar was lower against other Asia-Pacific currencies.

It fell to SG$1.2480 from SG$1.2502 the previous day, and to 31.86 Thai baht from 31.96 baht.

The greenback also dropped to 11,677.50 Indonesian rupiah from 11,695.00 rupiah, to 61.05 Indian rupees from 61.24 rupees, to 1,023.09 South Korean won from 1,028.81 won, and to 43.74 Philippine pesos from 43.97 pesos.

The Australian dollar inched up to 92.56 U.S. cents from 92.93 cents, while the Chinese yuan was up to 16.64 yen from 16.60 yen.

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