SINGAPORE: The British pound held broadly steady on Thursday ahead of a rate decision from the Bank of England (BoE) later in the day, while the dollar was on the back foot as it awaited fresh market catalysts.

Currencies were trading in tight ranges following a holiday in the United States and as investors looked not only to the BoE but also central bank decisions in Switzerland and Norway.

Sterling last bought $1.2719 after having eked out a slight gain in the previous session, while the euro rose 0.03% to $1.0747.

The dollar slipped 0.05% against the yen to 157.99, though the Japanese currency remained not too far from an over one-month low of 158.255 per dollar hit last week.

Against a basket of currencies, the greenback was little changed at 105.23, some distance away from last week's one-month top.

The BoE is widely expected to keep rates steady on Thursday, and the focus will be on any guidance on how soon an easing cycle could begin.

While data on Wednesday showed British inflation returned to its 2% target for the first time in nearly three years in May, details of the report pointed to persistent underlying price pressures - ruling out chances of an early rate cut.

"There's no doubt they keep rates on hold," said Tony Sycamore, a market analyst at IG. "The headline numbers for inflation were probably a welcome relief, but there were upside surprises in services components again.

"Potentially they could open the door at the next meeting, but it still seems like we're two meetings away from a potential rate cut there for me."

The Swiss National Bank (SNB) is, however, expected to trim its key policy rate by 25 basis points for a second straight meeting, with recent strength in the Swiss franc and benign domestic inflation adding to the case for looser monetary conditions.

The Swissie last stood at 0.8840 per dollar, hovering near a three-month high.

The Swiss franc similarly held near a four-month high of 0.94785 per euro hit in the previous session, as the common currency continues to be pressured by political turmoil in France and the wider bloc.

"The Swissie has performed quite well against the euro, and inflation has been declining in Switzerland, so again, the strength of the Swissie doesn't play well for this idea that you want to get inflation a little bit higher," said Rodrigo Catril, senior currency strategist at National Australia Bank.

Elsewhere, the Aussie edged 0.01% higher to $0.6673, while the New Zealand dollar steadied at $0.6131.

Data on Thursday showed New Zealand's economy grew faster than expected in the first quarter but remained soft. That did little to alter market views on the country's rate outlook.

(Reporting by Rae Wee; Editing by Edwina Gibbs)