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Yen ticks up after BOJ chief leaves markets guessing
[TOKYO] The yen picked up on Monday as Japan's central bank chief left markets guessing about whether policymakers would launch fresh easing measures this month.
Traders were keen to see if Haruhiko Kuroda - speaking at a Tokyo business seminar - would drop any hints about the BOJ's policy plans.
Japan's top central banker repeated a pledge to unleash fresh measures if necessary and waved off talk of scaling back on the BOJ's massive easing measures.
He also acknowledged the downside of the bank's negative rate policy, a plan designed to spur lending but which has hurt commercial banks' profits.
But Mr Kuroda gave few concrete hints about the BOJ's plans to counter a slowing economy.
In Tokyo afternoon trade, the US dollar slipped to 103.44 yen from 103.99 yen in New York, while the euro edged down to 115.58 yen from 116.02 yen in US trade Friday.
The BOJ holds its next policy meeting from Sept 20.
"While Kuroda denied any speculation about tapering, he spurred some disappointment for those looking for clear clues on policy action this month," Yousuke Hosokawa, head of foreign-exchange sales at Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Bank, told Bloomberg News.
"With markets losing direction after the US jobs data fell short of adding fuel to US rate hike expectations this month, Kuroda's comments were neither supportive for aggressive selling nor for buying of the dollar," he said.
On Friday, US data showed the economy created 151,000 net new jobs in August, below the 180,000 expected, according to figures released Friday by the Labor Department.
But it was still a solid number, and analysts were split on whether it was enough for the Federal Reserve to hike interest rates this month.
In other trading, the euro ticked up to US$1.1172 from US$1.1156.
The US dollar weakened against most other Asia-Pacific currencies, including the Indonesian rupiah, Taiwan dollar and South Korean won.