Japanese Finance Minister Yoshihiko Noda yesterday stepped up his rhetoric against the yen’s rise, suggesting the government would act to counter speculative moves after the currency hit a post-war high against the US dollar on Friday.
“I’m worried that recent one-sided yen moves have been strengthening,” Noda said, according to Dow Jones Newswires.
“I will take decisive actions if necessary without excluding any possible measures, while watching even more closely if there are any speculative movements,” he told reporters.
Japanese Vice Finance Minister Fumihiko Igarashi said the ministry needed to determine how much of a factor speculative trading had been in the rise in the yen.
The US dollar slumped to ￥75.95 in intraday trade on Friday, beating its previous post-World War II low of ￥76.25, which it reached days after the March 11 earthquake and tsunami hit Japan.
However, the US dollar strengthened early yesterday at ￥76.86, compared with ￥76.50 late on Friday in New York.
Because a strong yen hurts Japanese exporters, the nation’s main economic engine, Japan stepped into the foreign--exchange market earlier this month to sell yen and buy US dollars and has signalled that it may do so again.
Investors were flocking to the Japanese currency, seen as a safe-haven unit together with the Swiss franc, amid deepening concern over another possible global recession.
Noda added that Japan would stay in close communication with financial authorities in the US and Europe.