The euro was mixed in Asia Thursday, August 14, as investors awaited second-quarter eurozone growth figures. In midday Tokyo trading, the European single currency weakened to $1.3357 from $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 US retail sales for July — strengthened to 102.58 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. On the other hand, the US Federal Reserve, which has been pulling back on its own stimulus, was seen as likely to hike interest rates sooner than expected as the world’s number one economy recovers. 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.