* Yen near one-month highs vs USD
* Risk that BOJ disappoints expectations for
* ECB & BOE policy meetings also eyed
By Ian Chua
SYDNEY, April 4 The yen held near one-month
highs against the dollar early in Asia on Thursday, with
investors adopting a cautious stance as they waited to see just
how aggressive the Bank of Japan will be in tackling deflation.
Having talked up expectations for bold measures, including
an immediate start to its open-ended bond buying programme, the
BOJ will be hard pressed to surprise markets.
Given the BOJ's track record for under delivering, the
market has already trimmed back short yen positions just in
case. That is one reason the yen has rallied a little in the
past three weeks, coming off multi-year troughs against the
dollar and euro.
The greenback was last at 93.05 yen, having drifted
down from a session high of 93.69 on Wednesday. It has lost
nearly 4 percent from a 3-1/2 year peak of 96.71 set a few weeks
ago. Initial support is seen around 92.55, the 23.6 percent
retracement of its Nov-March rally.
Even should the BOJ disappoint at this meeting, Nomura
analysts caution that Governor Haruhiko Kuroda is very likely to
try to keep expectations high for the next meeting in three
The outcome of the meeting will be announced between
0330-0530 GMT, followed by Kuroda's media briefing at around
"Thus, the press conference is likely to be a good timing of
dip buying, if the market is disappointed by the announcement,"
Nomura analysts wrote in a client note.
Also in focus are policy meetings of the European Central
Bank and Bank of England.
Both central banks are not expected to deliver any new
stimulus for now, although the ECB is likely to try and calm
markets by pledging to keep the banking system lubricated after
Cyprus's brush with financial meltdown.
Still the risk of any surprises, such as an interest rate
cut from the ECB or a restart of the BOE's bond-buying
programme, is keeping investors wary of the euro and sterling.
The euro was at $1.2845, not far from a four-month
trough of $1.2750 plumbed on March 27. Sterling was at $1.5128
, having dipped to a two-week low of $1.5075.
With the major event risks looming, high-flying commodity
currencies took a backseat. The Aussie dollar was at $1.0458
after a second attempt to break above $1.0500 failed.
Any upside surprises in Australia's retail trade data due at
0030 GMT could put the Aussie dollar on track for a third try at
$1.0500. Due at 0030 GMT, retail sales are expected to increase
0.3 percent in February.