TOKYO - The yen lost ground against the dollar and euro in Asian trade on Tuesday as investors waited for the outcome of a monetary policy meeting at the Bank of Japan (BoJ).
The greenback was changing hands at 81.80 yen in Tokyo morning trade, up from 81.49 yen in New York late Monday. The euro rose to $1.3134 and 107.38 yen from $1.3106 and 106.80 yen.
Japan's central bank was to wrap up a two-day policy board meeting later on Tuesday, with traders waiting to see if the BoJ would announce additional monetary easing measures.
BoJ Governor Masaaki Shirakawa was to give a news conference at 0630 GMT.
Dealers were also keeping a close eye on the US economy with weaker-than-expected US jobs data last week and US Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke warning Monday that the world's biggest economy remained fragile.
The Fed has held interest rates at record lows since the outset of the global financial crisis while it has also bought US bonds to force down long-term rates.
There had been talk that falls in unemployment could lead the bank to start tightening policy as early as the second half of this year, but Bernanke's comments suggested there was little chance of such a move in the short term.
"Rather than the pair (dollar/yen) moving on any comments from Bernanke, I believe its safer to say that the yen is being sold ahead of today's BoJ policy board meeting conclusion," Masashi Murata, senior currency strategist at Brown Brothers Harriman, told Dow Jones Newswires.
Some dealers were holding short positions on the yen, expecting the Japanese currency to fall further if the BoJ announces more easing measures, said Junya Tanase, chief forex strategist at JP Morgan.
"(But) there seems to be increasing scepticism among foreign investors on the Bank of Japan's willingness to engage in monetary easing," Tanase added.