Japan ready to take ‘decisive’ action on yen, says finance minister

  • It is important that currencies move in a stable way – Minister of Finance
  • Intervention helped guard against speculation – minister
  • Repeats warning after dollar approaches 145.40 yen

TOKYO, Oct 3 (Reuters) – Japan is ready to take “decisive” action on the foreign exchange market if the excessive movements of the yen persist, Finance Minister Shunichi Suzuki said on Monday, in a new warning against investors who sell the currency.

“It’s important that currencies move in a stable way because sharp, one-sided moves are not desirable,” Suzuki told a news conference after a cabinet meeting, referring to the yen’s recent sharp falls.

“We stepped in the other day and said we would take decisive action if necessary. There’s no doubt that protected against speculative moves,” he said.

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These remarks did little to prevent the yen from weakening further. The dollar briefly rose to 145.40 yen later on Monday, marking the highest level since Japan intervened in the currency market to support the yen on September 22.

“There is no change in our position that we will take decisive action in the foreign exchange market if necessary,” Suzuki told reporters after the dollar rose to the daily high.

Japan spent up to 2.8 trillion yen ($19.34 billion) intervening in the foreign exchange market last month to slow the decline of the yen when it fell to a 24-year low near 146 for a dollar.

Excessive currency fluctuations, whether up or down, are making it difficult for Japanese companies to plan their business, policymakers say.

The head of Japan’s biggest business lobby, Keidanren, hailed the government’s action against speculative moves in the yen.

“It was significant for the government to show its will, not to leave speculative moves unchecked, even though such actions will not be taken so frequently,” Keidanren chief Masakazu Tokura told reporters.

Asked about the large size of the intervention, Suzuki said the amount was decided taking into account global factors.

($1 = 144.7700 yen)

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Reporting by Tetsushi Kajimoto Editing by Shri Navaratnam and Christian Schmollinger

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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