Japan’s Kishida says ready to act to prop up plummeting yen

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The Japanese prime minister’s comments came after Tokyo bought the yen to support the currency for the first time since 1998.

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Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida warned that the yen’s excessive movement due to speculation cannot be ignored and vowed to act “with a high degree of vigilance” and intervene again if necessary to support the currency.

“If there is excessive volatility, we will take action,” Kishida said Thursday in a speech on the New York Stock Exchange, hours after Japan bought the yen for the first time since 1998 to support the currency.

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The remarks underscored Tokyo’s resolve to continue fighting the yen’s sharp fall, which has added to the problems for households and retailers by pushing up already rising prices for imported raw materials and fuel. The Prime Minister of Japan rarely makes explicit comments about the movement of the currency.

Japan intervened in the foreign exchange market on Thursday to buy the yen for the first time since 1998, in a bid to shore up the battered currency after the Bank of Japan (BOJ) was stuck on ultra-low interest rates.

The move, which took place late in Asian hours, sent the dollar down more than 2 percent to around 140.3 yen. There were no subsequent signs of further intervention or assistance from other central banks. The dollar stood at 142.36 yen at 23:16 GMT.

Friday is a public holiday in Japan, although the country’s chief foreign exchange diplomat Masato Kanda told reporters on Thursday that it would not affect Tokyo’s decision on whether and when to intervene again.

Credit: www.aljazeera.com /

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