By Hiroyuki Kachi

The yen weakened slightly against the dollar during Asia trade Tuesday, after the Bank of Japan's widely expected decision to stand pat at its policy meeting.

Meanwhile, the Australian dollar soared after the country's central bank also decided to keep rates unchanged.

Around 0350 GMT, the U.S. dollar was changing hands at Y104.87 after touching an intraday high of Y104.96. That compared with Y104.81 late Monday in New York. The euro slightly fell to Y114.98 from Y115.10.

The greenback gained only moderately against the Japanese currency after the BOJ decided to hold off expanding stimulus. As widely expected, the central bank's board voted to keep its new anchor for 10-year government bond yields at zero, while leaving its target for a short-term interest rate on some commercial bank deposits at minus 0.1%. Instead, the bank pushed back its forecast date for hitting 2% inflation to around fiscal 2018. Previously, the bank said it would reach its target in fiscal 2017. The Japanese fiscal year ends in March.

The yen had often strengthened after the BOJ's inaction, as such a move prompted speculative non-Japanese players to quickly unwind their bets on a weaker yen on hopes for more easing from the central bank. But this time, the BOJ was widely expected to stand pat, thus giving only a limited room for the yen to move higher.

Tokyo stocks gained after the policy decision, with the Nikkei Stock Average up 0.3% midday, helping brighten the market mood and causing some yen selling.

"[The BOJ decision] was in line with market expectations," said Akira Moroga, managerof forex products group at Aozora Bank. Still, the BOJ's yield curve control framework at a time when the Federal Reserve is moving closer to raising rates "still looks accommodative," said Mr. Moroga.

The Australian dollar rose to intraday highs of $0.7660 and Y80.31 from $0.7608 and Y79.75, respectively. The Reserve Bank of Australia held interest rates steady at a record-low 1.50% Tuesday, holding off from further action as policymakers balance concerns over tepid inflation and a mixed local jobs market with fears about an overheating property market.

In other currency trade, the euro was at $1.0962 from $1.0981.

The WSJ Dollar Index, a measure of the dollar against a basket of major currencies, was up 0.02% at 88.57.

Interbank Foreign Exchange Rates At 23:50 EST / 0350 GMT

Latest Previous %Chg Daily Daily %Chg

Dollar Rates Close High Low 12/31

USD/JPY Japan 104.88-89 104.82-83 +0.06 104.96 104.70 -12.81

EUR/USD Euro 1.0959-62 1.0979-82 -0.18 1.0985 1.0960 +0.92

GBP/USD U.K. 1.2229-31 1.2241-43 -0.10 1.2246 1.2212 -17.01

USD/CHF Switzerland 0.9897-901 0.9890-94 +0.07 0.9903 0.9885 -1.21

USD/CAD Canada 1.3410-15 1.3407-12 +0.02 1.3426 1.3404 -3.08

AUD/USD Australia 0.7644-48 0.7606-10 +0.50 0.7653 0.7598 +4.93

NZD/USD New Zealand 0.7160-66 0.7146-52 +0.20 0.7175 0.7147 +4.83

Euro Rate

EUR/JPY Japan 114.94-98 115.08-12 -0.12 115.13 114.83 -12.10

Source: Tullett Prebon

Write to Hiroyuki Kachi at

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

November 01, 2016 00:53 ET (04:53 GMT)

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