Euro steady in Asia after tumble on Europe fears


TOKYO–The euro was steady in Asian trade on Friday after tumbling in New York on weak eurozone economic data and growing fears about a banking crisis in Cyprus. The yen firmed against the dollar, meanwhile, after the Bank of Japan’s (BOJ) new Governor Haruhiko Kuroda quashed hopes for immediate easing measures as he held his first official news briefing Thursday. In Tokyo afternoon trade, the single European currency bought US$1.2894, compared with US$1.2902 in New York, where it had plunged on Cyprus worries.

It also fetched 122.62 yen, against 122.58 yen, while the dollar sat at 94.95 yen, from 95.01 yen in U.S. trading. In Japan, remarks from top BOJ officials including Kuroda produced no surprises, with dollar-yen trade lacking a “clear direction,” Citibank Japan chief forex strategist Osamu Takashima told Dow Jones Newswires.

Some had expected Kuroda to call an emergency policy board meeting that would usher in aggressive new easing measures. The BOJ boss declined to comment on any such plans, but pledged “all-out efforts” to rid Japan of growth-sapping deflation that has plagued the economy for years. The dollar was mixed against other currencies, firming to 9,755 Indonesian rupiah from 9,731 rupiah, to 1,117 South Korean won from 1,116 won, and to 40.83 Philippine pesos from 40.71 pesos. The greenback weakened to 29.23 Thai baht from 29.79 baht, to SG$1.2494 from SG$1.2509, and to 54.28 Indian rupees from 54.29 rupees. The Australian dollar firmed to US$1.0425 from US$1.0373 while the Chinese yuan fetched 15.25 yen against 15.42 yen.