FOREX-Euro falls as investors position for ECB easy policy message
* Euro holds losses after ECB rate decision
* Focus shifts to ECB chief Draghi's news conference
* Sterling up after BoE holds rates but issues no statement
* Dollar/yen rises on steady buying by funds
LONDON, Aug 1 (Reuters) - The euro fell against the dollar
on Thursday on expectations European Central Bank chief Mario
Draghi would re-affirm an accommodative monetary policy stance.
The ECB, as expected, left interest rates unchanged but the market was focused on Draghi's news conference, which was due to start at 1230 GMT.
Sterling rose above $1.52 after the Bank of England earlier left its asset purchase programme and interest rates unchanged but issued no statement.
Some in the market had expected the BoE to issue a statement, as it did last month, that policy would stay easy. It is expected to give "forward guidance" when it presents its quarterly inflation report next week.
The euro did not move after the ECB decision, but was down 0.5 percent on the day at $1.3240. It hit a six-week high of $1.3345 on Wednesday.
"We are expecting Draghi to be dovish, perhaps more than what the market is expecting," said John Hardy, currency strategist at Saxo Bank. "The ECB needs to give more forward guidance and do enough to slow or reverse the euro's rise."
UBS strategist Beat Siegenthaler said the ECB would stick with its message because since last month, short-term rates have edged up, as has the euro. The euro rose 2.2 percent in July.
"The ECB will not be satisfied with this," he said.
However, the euro's weakness pushed the dollar off a six-week low against a basket of currencies hit after the Federal Reserve on Wednesday gave no fresh hints that it was preparing to scale back stimulus at its next meeting in September, as many in markets still expect.
Analysts expect the dollar to resume its upward trend in coming weeks as the Fed is still seen on course to become the first major central bank to consider withdrawing stimulus.
Most economists expect the Fed to begin slowing its asset-buying programme as early as next month, especially in light of data showing U.S. economic growth was stronger than expected in the second quarter.
Traders also say strong U.S. jobs data on Friday could add to expectations that the Fed could begin scaling back stimulus in September - a move that would boost the dollar.
The dollar rose 0.8 percent to 98.72 yen on steady buying by funds, traders said.