The euro sat near a one-month low hit last week as investors grew cautious about the outlook for the currency before a European Central Bank meeting this week. Traders cut their long euro positions by their biggest margin in nine months last week, according to weekly positioning data as core European bond yields entered the negative territory and as PMI data indicated a eurozone economy struggling to gain traction.
"We are seeing more euro scepticism in the market as expectations of an ECB rate hike has changed from the foreseeable future, with no firm timeline in sight," said Ulrich Leuchtmann, a currency strategist at Commerzbank in London. While the single currency was slightly higher on the day at $1.1228, it remained within striking distance of a one-month low of $1.1183 hit last week.
No policy changes are expected at this week's ECB meeting, but the press conference afterwards will be in sharp focus amid talk of tiered rates to ease pressure on banks, global recession fears and a sense of alarm that pushed 10-year German bond yields below zero per cent for the first time since 2016. Risk appetite was broadly muted across the currency markets with the yen stronger and the Australian dollar weaker as concerns about the outlook for the global economy weighed on sentiment.
The dollar was also weighed down by softening bond yields. The greenback was 0.3 per cent lower at 111.385 yen after briefly popping up to a three-week high of 111.825 on Friday following the U.S. jobs report. The Australian dollar dipped 0.1 per cent to $0.7095 in the wake of declining prices of commodities such as copper.
The pound held near a one-week low as France and the Netherlands expressed doubt about May's plan to further delay Brexit. Sterling last traded at $1.3050 for a gain of 0.1 per cent.
(With inputs from agencies.)