The dollar plummeted against the yen Monday amid growing fears that financial crises in Russia and other emerging markets will negatively impact the U.S. economy.
Conversely, with the move away from the dollar and with a nudge from the government, Tokyo share prices soared.
In interbank trading in Tokyo, the greenback was changing hands at 131.98-yen 132.00 yen at 5 p.m., down from 135.40-42 yen late Friday. In early morning trading, it hit 131.83 yen momentarily, its lowest in Tokyo since late April.
In early London trading, the dollar was going for 131.17 yen, down from 134.14 yen on Friday.
With the downtrend in its value continuing unabated, the dollar fell for the ninth trading day, mirroring a continued switch away from dollar-based securities. Bank officials cited the financial turmoil in emerging markets, falling U.S. share prices and fears of lower U.S. interest rates as major factors behind the dollar’s weakness.
Japanese banks and overseas hedge fund managers liquidated their long-dollar positions to cover their losses on investment in emerging markets in Russia, Asia and Latin America, said Yuhiko Kaji, an analyst with Sakura Bank.
As far as Japan’s economic fundamentals are concerned, however, there is little incentive to buy yen, Kaji said. Although the possibility of the dollar’s further fall in the short run cannot be ruled out, given the gap between Japanese and U.S. economic fundamentals, the long-range downward direction in the yen’s value remains unchanged, he said.
On the Tokyo Stock Exchange, the benchmark Nikkei average rocketed up 747.15 points, or 5.3 percent, to end the day at 14,790.06, its highest in nearly two weeks.
The stock market’s strong rebound met with a lot of skepticism, however. A senior Nomura Securities Co. official warned against optimism about the sudden high-priced activity, calling it a technical response.
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