The yen remained near a four year low against the dollar during early foreign currency trading on Tuesday as sluggish consumption data downplayed rate rise expectations.

The dollar traded at ¥121.80 from a high point of ¥122.20 the previous day while the euro was valued at ¥157.90, near last week's record high of ¥158.62.

Figures released on Monday showed that household spending in Japan unexpectedly fell 1.9 per cent during December, downgrading expectations of a rate rise in February.

 "The overriding trend is that people don't see rates going higher very quickly and therefore, they're selling the yen," Luke Waddington of Royal Bank of Scotland told Reuters.

Other more positive Japanese growth indicators such as a 0.7 per cent rise in industrial production in December were not seen as strong enough to tip the balance.

European finance ministers have said that they will be voicing concerns on the yen's low value with "greater intensity" than previously at the G7 conference next week.