April just wasn't meant to be the month for the dollar to push decisively above 100 yen. Perhaps May will be, given hopes of stronger U.S. economic news after Friday's upbeat payrolls data, currency analysts said.
The dollar was trading around 99 yen on Monday, hovering within sight of the key 100-barrier it tested on a number of occasions last month but failed to break.
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"I think dollar/yen going through 100 this week is a reasonable expectation," said Richard Yetsenga, head of global markets research at ANZ.
"Most of us in the market had expected 100 to break before now and it hasn't, mostly because of two things: One is the slowdown in the U.S. numbers and the second is people adjusting to the fact that there isn't an avalanche of capital coming out of Japan," Yetsenga said.
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"I suspect those two are close to running their course, so expect dollar/yen to break 100 near-term," Yetsenga added.
Analysts say that the one driver behind the yen's weakness has been an expectation of capital outflows from Japan. While that has not materialized significantly, it's expected to do so in the months ahead as heavy bond buying by the Bank of Japan to stimulate the economy forces big institutional investors to shop abroad for foreign bonds and other assets.
Data on Friday showing the U.S. economy created 165,000 new jobs last month, higher than expectations for a gain of 145,000, followed a batch of weak data that had raised concerns about the outlook for the world's biggest economy and in turn stalled the rally in the dollar.
The upbeat U.S. payrolls number has renewed appetite for risk assets, lifting the S&P 500 and Dow Jones stock indices to all-time closing highs on Friday and helping push Asian stock markets higher on Monday.