* Euro pares monthly gain after ECB maintains dovish bias
* Dollar steadies vs yen ahead of Japanese Golden Week
* U.S. Q1 GDP in focus later on Friday
TOKYO, April 28 The dollar edged up in Asian
trading on Friday but was on track for a losing month against a
basket of currencies, while the euro shed some of its monthly
gains after the European Central Bank maintained its easing
The dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a
basket of six major rivals, edged up 0.1 percent to 99.205
, but down 0.8 percent for the week and 1.1 percent for
The euro was down 0.1 percent at $1.0863, but up 1.3
percent for the week and 2 percent for the month.
ECB chief Mario Draghi said on Thursday after the central
bank's policy meeting that removal of the bank's easing bias was
not discussed, stressing the barriers the ECB still faces before
beginning to tighten its ultra-loose financing conditions.
However, he also said that euro zone's recovery was
increasingly solid and downside risks had diminished.
"My feeling is that Draghi's statement will be an important
factor to set the tone for the euro's movement next month," said
Masashi Murata, currency strategist for Brown Brothers Harriman
in Tokyo. "He said the ECB is unlikely to start its exit
strategy this year."
Against its Japanese counterpart, the dollar inched 0.1
percent lower on the day to 111.30 yen, up 1.9 percent
for the week but still down 0.2 percent for the month.
"The Japanese Golden Week holidays are ahead, and investors
have already adjusted their positions," said Kaneo Ogino,
director at foreign exchange research firm Global-info Co in
Tokyo markets will be closed for three days from May 3 for a
string of holidays known as the Golden Week, and some market
participants take additional time off.
"Because of the holidays, we're not seeing the usual
Japanese profit-taking or exporter selling on the dollar's rise,
though some investors are still hoping for a chance to buy the
dollar on dips," Ogino said.
Liquidity is likely to be thin next week, which market
participants say could exacerbate any sudden moves.
Traders continue to monitor tensions on the Korean
peninsula, any escalations of which could give the perceived
safe-haven yen a lift.
U.S. President Donald Trump told Reuters in an Oval Office
interview on Thursday that a major conflict with North Korea is
possible in the standoff over its nuclear and missile programs,
but he would prefer a diplomatic outcome to the dispute.
On Thursday, the BOJ kept monetary policy unchanged as
expected, but offered its most optimistic assessment of the
economy in nine years, signalling its confidence that a pick-up
in overseas demand will help sustain an export-driven recovery.
Japanese economic data released early in the session showed
Japan's core consumer prices rose at a slower than expected pace
in March from a year earlier, but they posted their third
straight month of increase, driven by rising energy costs.
Later in the global session, investors will get a first look
at the preliminary estimate for U.S. gross domestic product in
the first quarter. Economists polled by Reuters expected an
increase of 1.2 percent, and any downside surprise would likely
pressure U.S. Treasury yields and the dollar.
The yield on benchmark 10-year Treasury notes
stood at 2.292 percent in Asian trading, not far from its U.S.
close of 2.296 percent on Thursday.
The dollar was steady against the Swedish crown at 8.8374
crowns per dollar, after it jumped on Thursday in the
wake of a decision by Sweden's Riksbank extended its
bond-buying. The central bank also predicted its first interest
rate hike in mid-2018, later than previously projected.
(Reporting by Tokyo markets team; Editing by Sam Holmes)