Euro mixed in Asia ahead of ECB meet

TOKYO- The euro was mixed in Asia Thursday as investors turn their attention to a European Central Bank (ECB) policy meeting later in the day, after worrying inflation data had sparked speculation of a rate cut.

The single currency edged up to 143.01 yen from 142.96 yen in New York Wednesday, while it weakened to $1.3757 from $1.3765.

The dollar gained on the Japanese unit to 103.94 yen, from 103.85 yen in US trade.

There was speculation a few weeks ago that the central bank would take action to counter the possibility of deflation.

Most now expect the ECB to hold the course on rates later Thursday without introducing any special stimulus after some relatively positive data on eurozone growth in recent days.

But currency markets will be paying close attention to regular post-meeting comments from bank chief Mario Draghi to see if he hints at future measures to prop up the economy.

“I think the safe bet would be to refrain from aggressive trading until Draghi is over,” a senior dealer at a major bank in Tokyo told Dow Jones Newswires.

Traders are also focusing on a key US payrolls report Friday as they look for clues about the state of the world’s largest economy after severe winter weather weighed on growth over the past few months.

Upbeat data is likely to give the greenback a boost.

“Expectations that Friday’s jobs data will be rosy is high, so we would see another aggressive dollar/yen buying kicking in,” the bank dealer said.