Euro rises ahead of European Central Bank meeting

The euro rose against the dollar and yen in Asia on Wednesday, despite growing fears about Spain's finances, as traders looked to a European Central Bank policy meeting and possible easing measures.

The euro bought $1.2492 and 98.44 yen in Tokyo morning trade, against $1.2450 and 98.03 yen in New York late Tuesday.

The dollar inched up to 78.80 yen from 78.72 yen.

Top European finance ministers vowed Tuesday to respond "speedily" to the continent's debt crisis as Madrid pleaded for help to prop up its struggling banking system and avoid a bailout.

But the impact on the euro was limited, dealers said, with Credit Suisse analyst Hiromichi Shirakawa saying that there was no joint statement after the G7 talks, which showed "little sense of urgency".

"Are policymakers globally thinking neither Greek's departure from the eurozone nor Spanish banking turmoil would happen?" he said in a note.

"This little sense of urgency among the authorities suggests a delay in policy action, causing worries."

The emergency talks came amid concern about Greece's future in the eurozone once fresh elections take place later this month which are intended to resolve a political standoff stoked by a wave of anti-austerity sentiment.

Traders said investors would be watching the ECB policy meeting later Wednesday to see whether it will announce easing measures, which may boost the euro in the short term.

The euro also turned up after data showed Australia's mining-powered economy expanded 1.3 percent in the first three months of 2012 -- double expectations -- on the back of rising consumer spending and business investment.

Source: AFP

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