TOKYO, Japan : The dollar rebounded Monday as Japanese officials talked up the nation's latest economic growth data after the figures came in weaker than expected. The greenback was buying 96.71 yen in late afternoon trading, bouncing back from a day low of 95.92 yen and 96.24 yen in New York. The euro bought $1.3303 and 128.66 yen, from $1.3338 and 128.35 in US trade. Traders initially sold the dollar after Tokyo announced that the country grew by 0.6pc in the April-June.

 period from the previous quarter, missing analyst expectations and slowing from a revised 0.9 percent increase between January and March.

The weaker-than-expected figures dampened investor spirits and raised speculation that the government may hold off a series of sales tax hikes aimed at doubling the rate to 10 percent by 2015.

The move is widely seen as critical to efforts to bring down Japan's eye-watering national debt, the worst in the industrialised world at more than twice the size of the economy.

But Japanese leaders put an upbeat gloss on the fresh data, saying the numbers showed Japan's recovery was on track.

"The economy is picking up," Prime Minister Shinzo Abe told reporters, pointing to "further growth strategies this autumn" without elaborating.

Looking ahead, US economic figures including retail sales and industrial output are due out this week as markets look for clues as to when the US Federal Reserve will start rolling back its huge stimulus drive.

A pull back on the programme would mean fewer dollars in the financial system, boosting demand and the greenback's value.

The dollar was mixed against other Asia-Pacific currencies Monday.

It firmed to 43.66 Philippine pesos from 43.52 pesos on Friday, to 1,113.19 South Korean won from 1,112.09 won, to Sg$1.2609 from Sg$1.2603 and to Tw$29.94 from Tw$29.92.

The greenback eased to 60.73 Indian rupees from 60.86 rupees, to 31.17 Thai baht from 31.20 baht and to 10,302 Indonesian rupiah from 10,310 rupiah.

The Australian dollar strengthened to 91.76 US cents from 91.09 cents.

The Chinese yuan fetched 15.79 yen from 15.74 yen.