File picture: Lee Jae-Won

Tokyo -

The euro edged up in Asia on Thursday ahead of a slate of central bank meetings as investors focus on whether European policymakers will hint at further monetary easing.

In Tokyo midday trading, the European single currency rose to $1.3387 and 136.80 yen, from $1.3384 and 136.66 yen in New York on Wednesday.

The dollar strengthened to 102.18 yen against 102.11 yen.

While no new European Central Bank stimulus measures are expected this time, some analysts say Thursday's European Central Bank meeting could spark more euro selling if ECB chief Mario Draghi hints at the need for further action.

“The BoE (Bank of England) and ECB hold meetings today, but very little is expected of either,” National Australia Bank said.

Traders are watching “how (Draghi) characterises the present state of the economy, particularly as the risks to Germany's economy are rising and the effect of Russian sanctions and geopolitical risk may have lowered their outlook”.

“The market will be expecting that. An acknowledgement may be enough to send the euro lower.”

Currency markets have been wobbly with Israel's invasion of Gaza and rising tensions in the Ukraine crisis hitting investor sentiment.

On Wednesday, Russian President Vladimir Putin slapped one-year bans and limits on food and agricultural imports from nations that have imposed sanctions on Russia over its defiant stance on Ukraine.

Also on Thursday, the Bank of Japan kicks off a two-day policy meeting. - Sapa-AFP