The Australian dollar was steady after building approvals posted their largest fall since September last year and the yen weakened slightly on comments from a Bank of Japan board member to watch whether aggressive easy policy will overheat economic and financial activities. In Australia, June building approvals fell 8.2%, much further than the 0.8% fall month-on-month seen, while import prices rose 1.4%, just below an expectation for a 1.5% quarter-on-quarter rise and export prices fell 4.4%, compared to an expected fall of 4.0%. In Japan, June preliminary industrial output rose 0.8% month-on-month, well above the 0.3% increase seen. BoJ board member Koji Ishida board told a business group Thursday that there needs to be vigilance on the economy. “There is no excessive activity and big financial imbalances,” Ishida said in a speech to business leaders in Kyoto City. “But we have to keep a close eye on the risk that easy policy will overheat financial and economic activities and increase risks in the financial system without preconceptions.” USD/JPY changed hands at 124.00, up 0.04%%, while AUD/USD was quoted at 0.7296, flat. On Wednesday, Federal Reserve policymakers did not raise short-term interest rates from near zero at their Federal Open Market Committee, but their policy statement seemingly left the FOMC on course to raise them before long. The Fed has kept the overnight federal funds rate, and in turn other rates, near zero since December 2008. In the statement, the FOMC reaffirmed two conditions for starting to raise rates, that include further labor market improvement and becoming “reasonably confident” inflation will rise to 2% “over the medium term.” And the FOMC’s largely upbeat policy statement suggests the economy is on track to meet those conditions. Earlier in New Zealand, June building consents fell 4.1% month-on-month compared to an expectation of a 2.5% gain. In May approvals were flat. The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback’s strength against a trade-weighted basket of six major currencies, was up 0.08% to 97.31. Overnight, the dollar remained moderately higher against the other major currencies on Wednesday, even after data showed that U.S. pending home sales unexpectedly fell in June, as investors awaited the Federal Reserve’s rate statement later in the day. Investors were waiting to see if Fed policymakers will give any indication on the timing or pace of future interest rate increases. Fed Chair Janet Yellen has said the central bank could raise rates as soon as September if the economy continues to improve as expected. The dollar shrugged off a report showing that contracts to buy previously owned U.S. homes unexpectedly fell in June, following five months of increases. The National Association of Realtors said its pending home sales index fell 1.8% to 110.3 last month, compared to expectations for a 1.0% gain. It was still the third highest reading this year.