* Investors expect easing steps at Thursday's ECB meeting
* Speculators increased short bets on euro in latest
By Lisa Twaronite
TOKYO, June 2 The dollar edged up slightly in
early Asian trade, while the euro came under pressure as the
market braced for further stimulus measures from the European
Central Bank this week.
Short-term investors increased short positioning on the euro
to 16,633 contracts from 9,220 a week ago, according to data for
the week ended May 27 released by the Commodity Futures Trading
Commission on Friday.
The ECB is preparing a package of policy options for its
June 5 meeting that includes cuts in all its interest rates,
Reuters reported last month.
"With so much expected from next week's meeting, focus is
shifting to what the Governing Council could do to 'surprise'
the markets," such as signalling that more aggressive
unconventional quantitative easing measures could be
forthcoming, strategists at CitiFX wrote in a note to clients.
"If the ECB does not surprise markets, we could see some
cautious profit taking on EUR. That said, we would still think
that the risks for EUR could be on the downside over more medium
term," they said.
The euro edged down slightly to $1.3627, and remained
not far from a three-month low of $1.3586 touched on Thursday.
The dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a
basket of six major rivals, edged up about 0.1 percent to 80.413
. It remains within sight of Wednesday's high of 80.581,
which was its loftiest peak since early April. A break of its
April 4 high of 80.599 would take it to its highest levels since
The dollar bought 101.92 yen, up about 0.1 percent
against its Japanese counterpart.
The dollar's direction depends on whether U.S. Treasuries
continue to rally. In recent weeks, low U.S. yields have pushed
down the greenback, making dollar-denominated investments less
The yield on benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasuries
edged up in Asia to 2.480 percent from its U.S. close of 2.457
percent on Friday, moving away from Thursday's low of 2.422
percent which was its deepest nadir since last June.
Markets in China and Hong Kong were closed on Monday for a
public holiday, which could lead to less forex market activity.
They will reopen on Tuesday.
Looking ahead, central bank policymakers in Australia,
Canada and Britain will also meet this week.
Friday will bring the closely watched U.S. nonfarm payroll
report for May. Employers are expected to have added 215,000
workers last month, a Reuters poll found, after April's 288,000
increase, which was the biggest gain since January 2012.
(Editing by Richard Pullin)