* Yen edges up from 7-month lows vs dollar and euro
* Euro helped by optimism of eventual Greece aid deal
By Masayuki Kitano
SINGAPORE, Nov 23 (Reuters) - The yen inched higher against the dollar on Friday, getting some respite after having fallen sharply over the past two weeks on expectations of more forceful monetary easing in Japan.
The euro held steady against the dollar and hovered near the previous day’s three-week high, having gained a boost on expectations that international lenders will soon reach a deal to release the next tranche of aid for Greece.
The dollar eased 0.1 percent versus the yen to 82.39 yen , pulling away from Thursday’s 7-1/2-month high of 82.84 yen, the dollar’s strongest level since early April.
The dollar has climbed roughly 3.6 percent against the yen in the last two weeks, with the yen weakened by market expectations that the likely next Japanese government would push the Bank of Japan to implement more drastic monetary stimulus.
Shinzo Abe, the leader of Japan’s opposition Liberal Democratic Party, which holds a commanding lead in opinion polls ahead of an election on Dec. 16, has called for “unlimited” easing until 2 or 3 percent inflation is achieved, as well as pushing short-term interest rates below zero.
The dollar could be at risk of pulling back to about 81.00 yen, if it finishes the week below technical support near 82.50 yen, said Callum Henderson, global head of FX research for Standard Chartered Bank in Singapore.
“We may have seen the very short-term highs right now. It’s going to be a gradual grind rather than an explosive move higher over the next six to 12 months anyway,” said Henderson, referring to the dollar’s outlook against the yen.
The euro dipped 0.1 percent versus the yen to 106.11 yen , backing away from a seven-month high of 106.585 yen set on Thursday.
Against the dollar, the euro held steady at $1.2878, staying within sight of Thursday’s three-week high of $1.2899.
The euro has gained a boost after German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Wednesday that an agreement to release aid to Athens was still possible next Monday.
Expectations for a deal on Greece on Monday, when Greece’s international creditors will hold another round of talks, have been buttressed further by comments from Olli Rehn, the European commissioner for economic affairs.
Rehn said Greece has taken all the steps necessary to secure its next tranche of aid and euro zone finance ministers should be able to sign off definitively on the assistance on Monday.