Dollar dips, euro helped by ECB's wait-and-see approach

The dollar lost ground against the and dipped versus the euro on Monday as U.S. jobs data last week disappointed some who had bet on a number strong enough to break this year's tight trading ranges.

A stronger dollar was to have been this year's big play on major currency markets, according to many banks and investment houses, and there were signs last week the U.S. currency was finally set to break higher. But non-farm payrolls on Friday was judged short of the decisive evidence of a strengthening recovery that would usher in much higher U.S. interest rates and lift the dollar in the months ahead.

In that context, even the signs last week that the European Central Bank is closer to outright money-printing have failed to shift the dollar significantly higher against the euro.


The euro did take a hit after last week's ECB meeting but on Monday traded just above $1.37, up about 0.15 percent on the day.

It was helped by comments from ECB policymaker Ewald Nowotny who said there was no need to act immediately to counter euro zone disinflation. Another ECB policymaker, Yves Mersch, said that while the central bank was drawing up plans for large-scale asset purchases, it remained some way off.

The rose about 0.2 percent to trade near 142 yen.


But the dollar lost ground against the yen, having gained in the two weeks before Friday's payrolls numbers. It lost 0.6 percent on Friday after the jobs data and was last around 103 yen, slightly lower on the day.

There is still the prospect of more money-printing to come in Japan, however, and Monday's moves were limited by caution as the Bank of Japan began its two-day policy meeting.

BOJ Governor Haruhiko Kuroda might come under pressure to take more easing action to support the economy after Japan hiked its sales tax this month.

Data scheduled for Tuesday is expected to show Japan's current account balance swung back to a surplus for the first time in five months in February, helped by overseas investment returns and slowing import growth.

A raft of ECB speakers this week are expected to flesh out the discussions at last week's meeting.

German newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung said the ECB had modelled the effects of buying a trillion euros of assets to ward off deflation.

--By Reuters