TOKYO - The euro held steady against other currencies in Asia on Wednesday as investors waited for upcoming talks on debt-ridden Greece.

The euro bought $1.2465 and 98.80 yen in Tokyo afternoon trade against $1.2470 and 98.84 yen late Tuesday in New York where the beleaguered currency rose on speculation that the eurozone’s debt crisis may be on the mend.

The dollar was at 79.26 yen against 79.27 yen in US trade.

The market still lacks “an overwhelming theme and momentum”, National Australia Bank said in a note before closely watched talks on Greece.

Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras embarks on an uphill diplomatic battle this week to convince European partners to extend a deadline for major spending cuts to keep the floundering nation in the euro.

His bid to keep Greece in the 17-nation eurozone starts Wednesday with meetings in Athens with Eurogroup chief Jean-Claude Juncker and European Commission head Jose Manuel Barroso.

“With Juncker meeting with Greece’s Samaras today, ahead of (German Chancellor Angela) Merkel’s meeting Friday, there is the potential for a greater rally in the euro with a more encouraging tone from these meetings,” the bank said.

Currency rates hardly moved on Japan’s trade data, which showed the nation incurred a much worse-than-expected deficit in July.

Citibank Japan’s chief Japan strategist Osamu Takashima said “it will require more Japan-negative factors or such for the dollar to rise above 80 yen”. The dollar was mixed against other Asia-Pacific currencies.

The greenback edged up to 9,498 Indonesian rupiah from 9,490 rupiah on Tuesday and to Sg$1.2517 from Sg$1.2512.

It sagged to 31.43 Thai baht from 31.48 baht, to 55.47 Indian rupees from 55.58 rupees, and to 1,133.68 South Korean won from 1,135.45 won while staying almost flat at Tw$29.96 and at 42.35 Philippine pesos.

The Australian dollar fell to $1.0457 from $1.0478 while the Chinese yuan was at 12.45 yen against 12.44 yen.