Euro remains steady against greenback


TOKYO–The euro held steady against the dollar in Asian trade on Thursday amid speculation that the European Central Bank will cut interest rates after a policy meeting later in the day. The common currency bought US$1.2530 and 100.04 yen in Tokyo afternoon trade, hardly changed from US$1.2527 and 99.97 yen in London on Wednesday afternoon. The dollar was quoted at 79.82 yen, up from 79.80 yen in London. U.S. markets were closed Wednesday for the Independence Day holiday. There was widespread speculation that the ECB would cut interest rates by a quarter of a percentage point, said Sumino Kamei, senior analyst at the Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ. However markets have largely factored in the expected cut so the “reaction may be limited,” she added. Analysts have predicted the ECB would chop already record low interest rates from 1.0 percent to 0.75 percent, building on measures agreed last week by European Union leaders to tackle the eurozone debt crisis. On Thursday, Bank of Japan governor Masaaki Shirakawa repeated a pledge to ensure the stability of the nation’s financial system, as global markets remained under pressure from the eurozone’s fiscal woes. Shirakawa said “careful attention should be paid to the risk that the problems may have on Japan through movements in financial markets.”