Japan ready to intervene again on strong yen

TOKYO — Japan on Friday voiced concern over the rise of the yen to fresh 15-year highs against the dollar and signalled it was ready to wade back into markets to intervene amid fears of a global devaluation battle.

“I am very concerned about the current situation,” Prime Minister Naoto Kan told parliament when asked about the yen’s strength, which puts Japan’s growth-driving exporters at a disadvantage by making their products more expensive overseas.

“We will take decisive steps when necessary, from the perspective of curbing excessive fluctuations in exchange rates,” Finance Minister Yoshihiko Noda told a regular press conference.

Amid expectations the US Federal Reserve will adopt further easing measures to pump more liquidity into the world’s largest economy and further weaken the dollar, the unit Thursday plunged to fresh 15-year lows against the yen.

A surprise policy tightening move by Singaporean authorities to widen the trading band of its currency on Thursday also added to pressure on the greenback and pushed the Singaporean unit to record highs.

On Friday the dollar stood at 81.42 yen, little changed from 81.44 in New York Thursday, after the unit earlier plunged to a 15-year low of 80.89 yen.

 

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Japanese economy ‘at standstill’

The Japanese economy is at a standstill, Japan’s government has said, as concerns about the strong yen continue to grow.

The recovery in the economy was “pausing”, the Cabinet Office said in a monthly statement.

It is the most negative the government has been about the economy in nearly two years.

The rising yen and a slowdown in global demand for Japanese exports was blamed for the downgrade.

In recent months, the government has insisted that the economy is “picking up”.

But it said it now expected the economy to remain weak for some time, with “weakening” exports a chief concern.

It said shipments to Asia in particular were becoming weaker, further hitting exporters that are already suffering from the strong yen.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-11571644