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Euro ticks up in Asia after plunging on ECB stimulus

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The euro edged higher on Friday but remained under pressure after sinking to its lowest level in more than a decade after the European Central Bank launch a vast bond-buying programme aimed at kickstarting the eurozone economy.

[TOKYO] The euro edged higher on Friday but remained under pressure after sinking to its lowest level in more than a decade after the European Central Bank launch a vast bond-buying programme aimed at kickstarting the eurozone economy.

The single currency - which hit an 11-year low of $1.1316 after the announcement Thursday - bought $1.1366 in Tokyo early trade, a tad up from $1.1359 late in New York. The euro was trading above the $1.16 level earlier Thursday in Asia.

It also inched up to 134.66 yen, against 134.63 yen in US trade, but was still down from 136.80 yen earlier in the day in Tokyo.

The dollar fetched 118.47 yen against 118.52 yen in New York.

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The ECB said it would inject 60 billion euros a month into financial markets from March until September 2016, a programme known as quantitative easing (QE).

That was more aggressive than the 50 billion euro pace that many had expected.

The move came after the region's inflation turned negative in December, stoking fears that the 19-nation eurozone is on the brink of a dangerous deflationary spiral of falling prices.

However, despite the euro's modest pick up, analysts said it could weaken further as the ECB move underscores a growing policy split with the US Federal Reserve.

The Fed has wrapped up its own quantitative easing (QE) programme as it eyes a mid-year interest rate hike.

"The euro has more downside as the monetary policy divergence will likely become clear with the Fed meeting next week," Etsuko Yamashita, chief economist at Sumitomo Mitsui Banking, told Bloomberg News.

"The ECB's decision implies quantitative easing will last for a considerably long time and is spurring euro selling in reaction." Against other currencies the euro bought 0.9882 Swiss francs, against from 0.9897 in New York.

The Australian dollar briefly dipped to 79.95 US cents - the first time it has fallen below 80 cents since mid-2009 - before ticking up to 80.33 cents.

AFP

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