TOKYO: The yen rose against the dollar on Friday as the Bank of Japan (BoJ) held fire on further easing measures, after the economy grew more than expected in the first quarter.
In Tokyo trade, the dollar bought 120.71 yen, down from 120.91 yen just before the announcement and 121.07 yen in New York late Thursday.
The euro fetched 134.69 yen, up from 134.52 yen in US trade.
Japan’s central bank kept its annual 80-trillion-yen asset-buying stimulus unchanged while saying the world’s third largest economy “has continued to recover moderately,” slightly more upbeat than its view last month.
“The Bank had been widely expected to stay pat this time, especially after the good GDP data,” said Daisuke Uno, chief market strategist at Sumitomo Mitsui Banking.
Data showed Wednesday that the economy grew a better-than-expected 0.6 percent in the first quarter as it crawls back from a brief recession.
“It is not that something about the economy dramatically changed—the economy has been steadily improving,” BoJ governor Haruhiko Kuroda told a news briefing after the bank’s two-day policy meeting.
“Improvement is likely to continue, and so we have taken a step forward in our assessment to fit the current situation.”
The pound was up after a strong report on British consumer spending in April, buying $1.5670 against $1.5660 in New York.
The euro firmed to $1.1159 from $1.1112.
The dollar was mixed against other Asia-Pacific currencies.
It weakened to Tw$30.39 from Tw$30.55 on Thursday, to 1,090.11 South Korean won from 1,093.94 won, to 63.56 Indian rupees from 63.64 rupees, to Sg$1.3292 from Sg$1.3367, and to 33.39 Thai baht from 33.41 baht.
But it strengthened to 13,129 Indonesian rupiah from 13,122 rupiah.
The Australian dollar rose to 79.28 US cents from 78.96 cents while the Chinese yuan eased to 19.48 yen from 19.53 yen.