File photo: Lee Jae-Won

Tokyo - The euro rose against the dollar on Tuesday as the International Monetary Fund again urged the European Central Bank to take action to head off deflation.

IMF chief economist Olivier Blanchard said action was needed “soon”, noting that the ECB was already reviewing its options.

“They are considering a number of measures (including) negative interest rates, quantitative easing, securitisation programmes of various sources,” he told journalist at the launch of the IMF's World Economic Outlook report.

“I think they should all be looked at, and I know that the ECB is looking at them,” he said. “And we hope that they will implement them as soon as they're technically ready to do so... Sooner is better than later.”

The euro followed with gains. At 21h00 GMT it stood at $1.3797, compared to $1.3740 late on Monday.

Meanwhile the yen picked up sharply against both the greenback and the euro, helped by comments from Bank of Japan governor Haruhiko Kuroda that no new stimulus is needed at this time, according to Kathy Lien of BK Asset Management.

“By eliminating any near term possibility of easing, the governor's comments sent the Nikkei and USD/JPY rate sharply lower,” she said.

The dollar fell to 101.75 yen from 103.09 yen, and the euro dropped to 140.44 yen from 141.65.

Meanwhile, the British pound gained to $1.6749 from $1.6603, and the dollar slipped to 0.8832 Swiss franc from 0.8878 franc. - AFP