TOKYO: The euro lost more ground in Asia on Thursday after a European Central Bank official’s dovish comments boosted speculation about further easing measures, while lacklustre US data weighed on the dollar.
In Tokyo, the European common currency slipped to $1.2503 and 146.71 yen against $1.2506 and 147.22 yen in New York.
The dollar was lower at 117.29 yen, compared with 117.72 yen in US trading.
“Outside the US, the most significant development has been an elaboration by ECB vice president (Vitor) Constancio of the likely timetable for a move to full-blown QE (quantitative easing) entailing sovereign bond purchases,” National Australia Bank said in a note.
The latest hint of possible ECB measures follows the US Federal Reserve winding up its own stimulus drive and eyeing a mid-2015 interest rate hike.
They also come less than a month after the Bank of Japan ramped up its huge asset-buying scheme, which helped push the yen to multi-year lows.
ECB chief Mario Draghi has signalled his readiness to act quickly to deter deflation in the eurozone, sparking hopes for more stimulus.
“Market participants will be eager to hear what Draghi and (German central bank chief Jens) Weidmann have to say today following comments by Constancio… which were received as supportive of sovereign QE,” Credit Agricole said.
In the US, data for October showed a slight increase in US consumer spending, a rise in durable goods orders and a modest increase in new-home sales. But the Labor Department reported higher jobless claims for the week ending November 22.
The figures came after better-than-expected US growth data suggested that the world’s number one economy was on a healthy recovery track, while those in the eurozone and Japan struggle.
The dollar was mixed against other Asia-Pacific currencies.
It weakened to 32.78 Thai baht from 32.80 baht on Wednesday, to Tw$30.86 from Tw$30.88, to 1,100.21 South Korean won from 1,107.07 won, and to Sg$1.2978 from Sg$1.3003.
The greenback rose to 61.89 Indian rupees from 61.84 rupees and to 12,173 Indonesian rupiah from 12,167 rupiah, while it was unchanged at 44.93 Philippine pesos.
The Australian dollar rose to 85.88 US cents from 85.33 cents and the Chinese yuan weakened to 19.12 yen from 19.20 yen.