Japan ready to take ‘decisive’ steps against yen – finance minister

  • Important for currencies to move stably – Finance Minister
  • Intervention helped protect against speculation – minister
  • Repeats warning as dollar approaches 145.40 yen

TOKYO, Oct. 3 (Reuters) – Japan stands ready to take “decisive” steps in the foreign exchange market if the yen’s excessive moves continue, Treasury Secretary Shunichi Suzuki said Monday, in a new warning against investors selling the currency.

“It is important for currencies to move stably, as sharp and one-sided moves are undesirable,” Suzuki told a news conference after a cabinet meeting, referring to the yen’s recent sharp declines.

“We recently intervened and we said we would take decisive steps if necessary. There is no doubt that this has guarded against speculative movements,” he said.

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The comments did little to prevent the yen from weakening further. The dollar briefly rose to 145.40 yen later on Monday, the highest level since Japan intervened in the foreign exchange market to support the yen on Sept. 22.

“There is no change in our view that we will take decisive steps in the foreign exchange market if necessary,” Suzuki told reporters after the dollar’s rise to the daily high.

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

Excessive currency movements, both up and down, are making it difficult for Japanese companies to plan their business, policymakers say.

The head of Japan’s largest corporate lobby, Keidanren, praised the government’s action against speculative yen movements.

“It made sense for the government to show its will, not to leave speculative actions unattended, although such measures will not be taken very often,” Masakazu Tokura, head of Keidanren, told reporters.

When asked about the large size of the intervention, Suzuki said the amount was determined by taking extensive factors into account.

($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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