(Updates prices, adds analyst comments, changes byline, changes
dateline from LONDON)
* Yen supported as BOJ begins two-day policy meeting
* Dollar nurses losses as jobs report disappoints bulls
* Euro moves up after ECB's Nowotny comments
By Sam Forgione
NEW YORK, April 7 The dollar fell against major
currencies on Monday after last week's slightly
lower-than-expected U.S. payrolls data, while European Central
Bank policymakers' comments curbed expectations for more
stimulus and boosted the euro.
U.S. employers added 192,000 jobs in March after adding
197,000 in February, the Labor Department said Friday. The
unemployment rate was unchanged at 6.7 percent. Economists had
expected a gain of 200,000 jobs last month.
The U.S. employment reading disappointed some who had bet
that a stronger report would reinforce a Federal Reserve
increase in interest rates, which would lift the dollar in the
"The disappointment in the jobs data on Friday has soured
sentiment" toward the dollar, said David Gilmore, a partner at
Foreign Exchange Analytics in Essex, Connecticut.
Fed Chair Janet Yellen suggested in a press conference on
March 19 that the U.S. central bank could raise interest rates
earlier than expected. Overnight rates are currently near zero.
"Any perceived delay in the start of Fed tightening is
negative for the dollar," said Gilmore.
On Monday, comments from ECB policymakers Ewald Nowotny and
Yves Mersch suggested more monetary easing from the central bank
was not imminent, which lifted the euro against the dollar.
Nowotny said there was no need to act immediately to counter
euro zone disinflation, while Mersch said that while the central
bank was drawing up plans for large-scale asset purchases, it
remained some way off.
The euro has been pressured since ECB governing council
member and Bundesbank chief Jens Weidmann said on March 25 that
negative interest rates would be more appropriate to use to
counter a higher exchange rate.
At its April meeting in Frankfurt, the ECB opened the door
to using quantitative easing and other monetary policies meant
to rescue the euro zone from worringly slow inflation.
Nowotny and Mersch's comments on Monday signaled that there
was resistance to imminent quantitative easing, said Gilmore of
Foreign Exchange Analytics.
The dollar also lost ground against the Japanese yen, having
gained in the two weeks before Friday's payrolls numbers, in the
wake of the U.S. jobs data. The prospect of more money-printing
in Japan, however, limited Monday's moves as the Bank of Japan
began its two-day policy meeting.
"The yen recovered on the heels of Friday's U.S. payrolls
report," Omer Esiner, chief market analyst at Commonwealth
Foreign Exchange in Washington, said in a research note.
"However, there does seem to be mounting pressure building for
some form of monetary easing by the BOJ."
The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback
against six major currencies, was last down 0.2 percent at
80.26. The euro was up 0.23 percent against the dollar to
trade at $1.3736, while the dollar was down 0.07 percent against
the yen at 103.22.
(Additional reporting by Patrick Graham in London)