- Currencies in Asia were steady Thursday ahead of labor force data in Australia and trade figures out of China with events in the Ukraine apperaring to be off the boil for now , but closely watched.

AUD/USD traded at 0.9326, down 0.02%, while USD/JPY traded at 101.85, down 0.05%.

Australia''s April labor force survey is due at 1130 in Sydney (0130 GMT) with a gain of 6,800 jobs expected and an unemployment rate at 5.9% from 5.8%, while the participation rate is expected to be unchanged at 64.7%.

China''s April trade data is due at an undisclosed time with expectations for a 1.7% decline in exports year-on-year and a 2.3% fall in imports and a trade surplus of $13.90 billion.

Overnight, the dollar edged higher against most major currencies after Russian President Vladimir Putin said he''d do everythign possible to diffuse the crisis in Ukraine.

Concerns that Ukraine will descend into civil war eased after President Putin called on separatists in the eastern reaches of the country to postpone their referendum on independence, and added that Russia had withdrawn its forces from the border.

Putin stressed that Russia will do "all it can" to resolve the crisis and will take a "most positive" approach to international peace efforts.

The crisis has taken its toll on the dollar by stoking fears the U.S. will become more involved, which could hamper recovery, though Putin''s words supported the greenback.

The dollar did, however, see headwinds back home.

Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen said earlier that a high degree of monetary accommodation remains warranted given the slack still persistent in the economy, and added that while conditions in the U.S. labor market have improved, they remain far from satisfactory.

Yellen added that monetary authorities expect economic growth to accelerate this year despite the slowdown in the first quarter but warned that the recent housing market slowdown "could prove more protracted than currently expected."

Still, losses were limited, as expectations for interest rates to remain low even after the Fed wraps up its bond-buying stimulus program have been priced into trading.

The US Dollar Index, which tracks the performance of the greenback versus a basket of six other major currencies, rose 0.14% at 79.28.

On Thursday, the U.S., is to publish the weekly report on initial jobless claims.

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