* U.S. dollar gains vs many peers in subdued overnight
* Easter long-weekend break keeping markets thin
* China data, NZ rate review, ECB's Draghi speech eyed
By Ian Chua
SYDNEY, April 22 The dollar held at two-week
highs against a basket of major currencies early on Tuesday
after a subdued session overnight, with many global financial
centres shut for the Easter long-weekend holiday.
Traders expect a slow start with no major economic data out
of Asia, although Australian inflation numbers, a survey on
China's manufacturing sector and an interest rate review in New
Zealand over the next two days should provide some interest.
The dollar index was last at 79.963, having gained
nearly 0.2 percent on Monday. Against the yen, the greenback was
at 102.63, not far from a two-week high of 102.71.
The yen suffered a mild setback on Monday after data showed
Japan's export growth slowed to its weakest in a year, adding
pressure on policy makers to inject more stimulus.
The euro, which also scaled a two-week peak of 141.84 yen
on Monday, was last at 141.55. It dipped to a near
two-week low against the greenback at $1.3787 although
trading overnight was light with much of Europe shut.
"With ECB President Mario Draghi scheduled to speak later
this week, the fresh batch of ECB rhetoric may undermine the
bullish sentiment surrounding the single currency," said David
Song, analyst at DailyFX in New York.
"EUR/USD may continue to give back the rebound from earlier
this month should the central bank head look to implement more
non-standard measures ahead of the second-half of 2014."
Draghi is scheduled to give a keynote speech in Amsterdam on
Thursday. He recently made clear the euro's strength is a
possible trigger for the central bank to ease policy.
The greenback also gained a bit of ground against commodity
currencies such as the New Zealand dollar, which sagged to a
2-1/2 week trough of $0.8555.
While the market is fully priced for a second interest rate
hike by the Reserve Bank of New Zealand on Thursday, speculation
has mounted that the central bank might temper aggressive
tightening expectations for this year.
"We expect the one-page statement will strike a more
cautious tone than previously, mainly due to the high exchange
rate and soft inflation data," said Imre Speizer, strategist at
Westpac Bank in Auckland.
(Editing by Richard Pullin)