Japan intervened in the foreign-exchange market for the fifth time in five weeks early Monday afternoon, boosting the dollar from the lower half of 121 yen, financial authorities said.
“Recent rapid movements of the dollar-yen exchange rates in the markets could have undesirable implications for the Japanese economy and the world economy,” Finance Minister Masajuro Shiokawa said in a statement. “In this context, we have taken appropriate action today in the foreign-exchange market.”
The intervention sent the U.S. currency, which fell to 121.02 yen in Tokyo at one point in the morning, up briefly to 122.80 yen. At 5 p.m., the dollar was quoted at 121 yen.44-46.
Shiokawa also hinted Japan is ready to intervene in the market again, saying, “We will continue to closely monitor the market and take appropriate action as necessary.”
Japanese monetary authorities intervened in the currency markets four times between May 22 and June 4 on behalf of the government to prevent the yen’s appreciation from hampering the Japanese economy, which is showing signs of an export-led recovery.
Although market players bought the dollar earlier Monday on expectations the Bank of Japan would step into the markets, it weakened around 10 a.m. after no such action came.
Expectations of intervention emerged after a slide of more than 2 yen pulled the dollar down to 120.80 yen at one point Friday in New York, marking its lowest level since early November.
Dealers have attributed the dollar’s weakness to worries about the course of the U.S. economy and jitters over possible terror attacks.
Tokyo stocks rebound
Tokyo stocks rebounded Monday as bargain-hunting spurred by a Bank of Japan’s dollar-buying spree erased substantial earlier losses traced to a sharp fall Friday on Wall Street and to a strong yen.
The 225-issue Nikkei Stock Average, which shed more than 250 points Friday, gained 116.97 points, or 1.13 percent, to close at 10,471.32.
The broader Tokyo Stock Price Index of all First Section issues on the Tokyo Stock Exchange rose 10.88 points, or 1.09 percent, to 1,013.23.
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