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September 19, 2017

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Euro at one-year low against dollar in Asia ahead of ECB inflation meet

TOKYO--The euro struggled at a one-year low against the dollar in Asia on Monday, ahead of a European Central Bank (ECB) meeting where policymakers will consider their next move in the face of weak eurozone inflation.

The European single currency slipped to US$1.3126, its lowest level since September last year and down from US$1.3139 in New York, although it ticked up to 136.77 yen from 136.67 yen in US trade.

The dollar fetched 104.18 yen, its strongest since January and up from 104.06 yen in New York on Friday.

Eurozone inflation eased to 0.3 percent in August, raising concerns the 18-nation bloc is about to tip into deflation.

The data have put pressure on the ECB to take fresh monetary easing steps at its policy meeting Thursday, a move that would tend to weaken the unit.

Despite weak U.S. personal spending data on Friday, the dollar pushed ahead as second-quarter economic growth figures came in strong, with traders looking ahead to key non-farm payroll figures at the end of this week.

Investors were also keeping a close eye on geopolitical developments, with concerns increasing that Russia and Ukraine are on a collision course.

The disappointing figures underscored concerns about the state of the country's recovery, and heap more pressure on the central bank to unleash further easing measures.

The dollar was mixed against other Asia-Pacific currencies.

It strengthened to SG$1.2496 from SG$1.2490 on Friday and to 31.97 Thai baht from 31.94 baht.

The greenback eased to 11,697.00 Indonesian rupiah from 11,710.00 rupiah, to 1,013.90 South Korean won from 1,014.77 won, and to 43.58 Philippine pesos from 43.67 pesos.

It also slipped to NT$29.86 from NT$29.90 and to 60.49 Indian rupees from 60.51 rupees.

The Australian dollar weakened to 93.40 U.S. cents from 93.49 cents, while the Chinese yuan rose to 16.95 yen against 16.89 yen.

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