FOREX-Euro better bid as ECB sees no urgent need for stimulus

Reuters

* Euro bounces, ECB policymakers say QE still a way off

* BOJ holds policy meeting, focus on Kuroda news conference

* Dollar/yen still subdued after payrolls disappointment

By Ian Chua

SYDNEY, April 8 (Reuters) - The euro held onto gains early on Tuesday, having risen broadly after the European Central Bank again played down the need for any immediate policy action.

The common currency bought $1.3742, bouncing off Friday's trough of $1.3672 after senior ECB policymakers stressed the bank was still a long way off from making large-scale asset purchases.

"Taken together with last week's ECB meeting, we remain cautious that the ECB will actually act, and act in a sufficient quantity," analysts at JPMorgan wrote in a note to clients.

"Hence, QE still looks like a distant prospect," they said, referring to Quantitative Easing, the printing of money to buy assets.

The euro firmed to 141.72 yen, pulling away from Monday's trough of 141.12, and climbed to A$1.4828, recovering from a 4-1/2 month low of A$1.4689 plumbed recently.

Investors had sold the common currency late last week after the ECB opened the door to using unconventional measures including asset purchases to keep inflation from staying too low and undermining the euro area recovery.

The Bank of Japan is also under pressure to take fresh action and, while nothing new is expected at its policy meeting on Tuesday, Governor Haruhiko Kuroda is bound to field questions on it at a news conference at 0630 GMT.

The bounce in the euro saw the dollar index dip to 80.218 from a near seven-week high of 80.599 set Friday.

The greenback was already struggling after the closely watched March payrolls report disappointed some investors. It extended its decline against the yen, reaching 103.08 from a recent peak of 104.13.

The dollar, however, fared better against commodity currencies, holding its ground against the Canadian dollar and giving only small leeway to the New Zealand currency.

The Australian dollar softened to $0.9263 after a second attempt to break above 93 U.S. cents was met with solid resistance.

Not helping the Aussie, a commentary piece from Chinese state news agency Xinhua dismissed speculation that China will resort to large-scale stimulus to re-energise its slowing economy.

A string of disappointing data from China, Australia's biggest export market, coupled with news of China's first domestic bond default have recently conspired to unnerve China bulls.

They also came at a time of heightened volatility in the yuan as Beijing attempts to strike at speculators betting on sustained one-way appreciation of the currency.

Those efforts, however, appeared to have irritated the United States, which warned Beijing the recent depreciation of the yuan could raise "serious concerns" if it signalled a policy shift away from allowing market-determined exchange rates.

(Editing by Shri Navaratnam)

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