Forex Asia Review – Euro edges higher in anticipation of ECB’s LTRO

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The euro edged higher in Asian trading on Tuesday as markets waited for a second liquidity injection from the European Central Bank and should remain relatively buoyant until the LTRO operation on Wednesday. This second long-term refinancing operation involves three-year loans that European banks can access at lower rates, with the purpose of averting a liquidity squeeze.

Markets seemed to be unscathed by news of Greece’s credit rating downgrade by Standard & Poor’s late Monday, as this was already priced in. EURUSD opened in Asia at 1.3395 and climbed steadily to 1.3450. EURGBP rose to 0.8487from 0.8466.

The euro-Swiss franc pair hit a four-day high of 1.2056, compared to Friday’s lowest point of 1.2038.

The seemingly firming market sentiment helped sterling trim losses against the dollar, with GBPUSD moving up from 1.5816 to 1.5847.

After an early dip to 80.00, USDJPY bounced to 80.63. EURJPY similarly fell early in the session to107.28 and turned back up to 108.44.

Risk appetite helped push the commodity-price-sensitive Australian dollar higher against the greenback, with AUDUSD rising  to a session high of 1.0786.

Looking ahead, main economic data to focus on in the upcoming  European session are the Swiss UBS consumption indicator for January, Eurozone economic confidence index for February, German GfK consumer confidence index for March and the preliminary German CPI for February.