Tokyo - The yen slipped against the dollar in Asian trade Thursday on growing expectations of strong US jobs data while the Bank of Japan issued an upbeat assessment of the world's third-largest economy.
The greenback bought 99.95 yen in afternoon trading against 99.74 yen in New York Wednesday afternoon, while the euro was flat at 131.70 yen.
The European single currency slipped to $1.3179 from $1.3204.
The dollar firmed as expectations grow of strong payrolls data this week, traders said.
A boost in employment figures could seal the deal for the Federal Reserve to start tapering the pace of its massive bond purchases later this month, which would send US bond yields and the dollar higher.
The Japanese central bank's board on Thursday voted unanimously to hold off expanding its own massive monetary easing programme as it wrapped up a two-day policy meeting, saying in a statement that the “economy is recovering moderately”.
The statement marked a step-up from last month when the BoJ said the economy was “starting” to recover, but the bank's decision to stand pat on its asset-buying programme was widely expected.
“The impact of the BoJ statement on the market was limited as the wording was within a range of our expectations,” said Yosuke Hosokawa, head of FX sales team with Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Bank.
Investors were also looking to BoJ Governor Haruhiko Kuroda's post-meeting news conference later Thursday for hints at future easing measures, as Japan weighs a plan to usher in a series of sales tax hikes.
Some fear the move would cripple Tokyo's bid to stimulate consumer demand and derail a recovery.
“Players are on the sidelines as it is difficult for them to take positions ahead of US unemployment figures (later this week),” said Kazunori Kimura, a forex analyst with SMBC Nikko Securities.
The dollar was mixed against other Asia-Pacific currencies.
The Indian rupee surged for a second day, rallying to 66.24
against the dollar Thursday afternoon from 67.75 a day earlier as the new Reserve Bank of India governor Raghuram Rajan outlined a reform plan aimed at boosting the ailing currency and slumping economy.
The dollar also weakened to 44.32 Philippine pesos from 44.60
pesos, while rising to 11,565 Indonesian rupiah from 11,395 rupiah and to Sg$1.2775 from Sg$1.2769. It was flat at 1,097 South Korean won, 32.25 Thai baht and Tw$29.80.
The Australian dollar rose to 91.56 US cents from 90.92 cents. The Chinese yuan was unchanged at 16.27 yen. - Sapa-AFP