FOREX-Yen stays firm after BOJ stands pat; euro holds steady

Reuters

* BOJ keeps policy unchanged as expected

* Focus on BOJ Governor Kuroda's news conference

* Dollar/yen still subdued after U.S. jobs data disappointment

* Euro supported after ECB policymakers say QE still a way off (Updates prices, adds comments)

By Masayuki Kitano

SINGAPORE, April 8 (Reuters) - The dollar slipped against the yen on Tuesday, struggling to gain traction after the Bank of Japan held off from additional easing as expected, with focus turning to a news conference by BOJ Governor Haruhiko Kuroda.

The dollar last fetched about 102.98 yen, down 0.1 percent on the day.

The dollar had been weak against the yen even ahead of the BOJ policy decision. The dollar briefly dipped a tad versus the yen after the BOJ kept policy unchanged, but later pared some of its losses on the day.

The greenback has struggled against the yen in recent sessions after the closely-watched U.S. jobs data on Friday disappointed some investors, and has pulled back from a 10-week high of 104.13 yen set on Friday.

Market participants said weakness in Tokyo share prices , which can be seen as being negative for risk appetite, also helped weigh on the dollar versus the yen during Tuesday's session.

The focus now shifts to BOJ Governor Haruhiko Kuroda's news conference at 0630 GMT.

Market participants will be watching for any hints about the possibility of further monetary easing amid worries that Japan's sale tax hike to 8 percent that started this month may dent economic growth.

"It seems the statement very much adopted a wait-and-see attitude," said Callum Henderson, global head of FX research for Standard Chartered Bank in Singapore, referring to the BOJ's post-meeting statement.

Kuroda's news conference may contain a similar message, he said, adding that the dollar could come under pressure against the yen in the near term if that turns out to be the case.

"That said, the low volatility in FX markets generally should be mildly supportive for carry trades and indirectly for dollar/yen," Henderson said.

The favourable environment for carry trades could support higher-yielding currencies such as the Australian dollar and New Zealand dollar against the yen and provide indirect support to the U.S. dollar versus the yen, he added.

As expected, the BOJ voted unanimously on Tuesday to maintain its pledge of increasing base money, its key policy gauge, at an annual pace of 60 trillion to 70 trillion yen ($582-679 billion).

The BOJ maintained its view the economy is likely to continue recovering moderately, signalling its confidence the country is making steady progress toward meeting the bank's price target.

The euro held steady at $1.3743, staying above a one-month low of $1.3672 set on Friday.

The euro gained support after the European Central Bank again played down the need for any immediate policy action.

Senior ECB policymakers stressed on Monday the bank was still a long way off from making large-scale asset purchases.

"Taken together with last week's ECB meeting, we remain cautious that the ECB will actually act, and act in a sufficient quantity," analysts at JPMorgan wrote in a note to clients.

"Hence, QE still looks like a distant prospect," they said, referring to Quantitative Easing, the printing of money to buy assets.

Investors had sold the common currency late last week after the ECB opened the door to using unconventional measures including asset purchases to keep inflation from staying too low and undermining the euro area recovery.

(Additional reporting by Ian Chua in Sydney; Editing by Eric Meijer)

View Comments (0)