Tanigaki talks down interest rates

Finance Minister Sadakazu Tanigaki said Friday that sharp rises in long-term interest rates are detrimental to the overall economy, a comment apparently designed to stem a further rise in rates that have risen to near four-year highs.

Market participants are often tempted to push rates up amid expectations of an economic recovery, but an excessive pace of rate rises “is undesirable and we must be alert to various consequences for the real economy that might result,” Tanigaki told a news conference.

“We must pay close attention to market developments now that the key long-term interest rates have topped 1.9 percent.”

The yield on the key 10-year government bond issue briefly jumped to 1.940 percent during after-hours trade on Thursday, the highest quote for a benchmark issue since Sept. 7, 2000.

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