Tokyo - The yen was steady in Asian trade on Thursday after the Bank of Japan's new management team issued its most upbeat assessment yet of the world's third-largest economy, while holding fire on any new easing moves.
The greenback was at 99.70 yen in midday trading against 99.74 yen in New York on Wednesday afternoon, while the euro weakened to 131.51 yen from 131.70 yen.
The European single currency fetched $1.3189 from $1.3204.
The Japanese central bank's board voted unanimously to hold off expanding a 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 moderately”, 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.
Japanese premier Shinzo Abe's hand-picked management team was installed at the bank six month's ago with a mission to reverse Japan's fortunes, and the BoJ unleashed its bond-buying scheme in April.
Investors were also looking to Governor Haruhiko Kuroda's post-meeting news conference later on 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.
US payroll data for August is set for release on Friday, with economists expecting the employment picture to brighten, marking another pick-up in the world's largest economy.
Dealers are also on edge about the US Federal Reserve's plan for its bond-buying stimulus programme, with concerns it will soon start a wind-down weighing on a positive outlook. - AFP