* Euro/dlr up 0.1 pct; trade subdued before U.S. jobs data
* Yen dips on report saying BOJ to consider easing steps
* Merkel meeting with Greek prime minister also awaited
(Updates prices, adds quotes)
By Jessica Mortimer
LONDON, March 5 (Reuters) - The euro edged up against the
dollar on Friday in subdued trade as the market awaited key U.S.
jobs data, while the yen dipped on a report the Bank of Japan
could consider further monetary easing steps.
U.S. non-farm payrolls numbers due at 1330 GMT may give
clues to the extent of the U.S. recovery, although bad weather
could affect the data. The Reuters' consensus estimate is for
job losses of 50,000 in February. <ECONUS> [ID:nN04252324]
Analysts expect a stronger-than-expected reading would boost
the dollar, while a weaker figure may be dismissed as a
distortion after a wave of snowstorms that hit the United
States, limiting any negative dollar reaction.
"The market is looking for signs of the next wave of
cyclical improvement in the U.S. and a good payrolls number
could point to that," said Peter Wuyts, market analyst at KBC in
"But the weather makes the data difficult to predict and I
wouldn't be surprised to see the market still in doubt
afterwards, which would mean the current consolidation pattern
in euro/dollar continuing into next week."
At 1048 GMT, the euro <EUR=> was up 0.1 percent against the
dollar at $1.3588 as jitters ahead of the jobs report kept most
traders sidelined, while the dollar index <.DXY> was steady at
KBC's Wuyts said the euro's consolidation above a
9-1/2-month low of $1.3432 hit earlier this week suggests the
market has priced in most of the bad news on Greece for now,
keeping it in a range above that low and below $1.3850.
Greece on Thursday sold a 10-year bond, one day after
announcing measures aimed at cutting its huge fiscal deficit.
Concerns remained, however, about whether Greece's fresh
plans to address its debt woes would win wider support in the
European Union ahead of a meeting between German Chancellor
Angela Merkel and the Greek prime minister on Friday.
The yen fell after sources said the BOJ was likely to debate
this month easing its ultra-loose monetary policy again as it
remained under government pressure to help pull Japan out of
"The BOJ comments should weigh on the yen and we're looking
for dollar/yen to target 90.30 yen in the next couple of days,"
said Carl Hammer, currency strategist at SEB in Stockholm.
The euro <EURJPY=R> rose 0.3 percent to 121.36 yen while the
dollar <JPY=> was up 0.3 percent at 89.31 yen, recovering from a
3-month low of 88.14 yen hit on trading platform EBS the
Traders said the dollar's upside would likely be capped
around 89.50 yen, or the lower limit of the cloud on the daily
Ichimoku chart, before the U.S. jobs report.
Comments from Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao that China would
stick to an appropriately easy monetary stance and a proactive
fiscal policy also encouraged investors to buy higher-yielding
currencies against the low-yielding yen. [ID:nTOE62308M]
(Additional reporting by Satomi Noguchi in Tokyo; Editing by