Bloomberg News

Japan Signals Willingness to Act After Yen Touches Record High

October 26, 2011

Oct. 26 (Bloomberg) -- Japanese Finance Minister Jun Azumi said his ministry will take “decisive” measures to stem the yen’s rise after the currency surged to a post-World War II record against the dollar.

“I’ve ordered my staff to be prepared to take action at any time,” Azumi told reporters in Tokyo today. “Speculative movements have become very prominent.”

The finance chief said he understood the risk that a further appreciation in the yen would hurt exporters, calling the industry the “bread and butter” of the world’s third- largest economy. He said policy makers wouldn’t rule out any options to address the strong yen, which has appreciated more than 6 percent against the dollar this year.

The yen traded at 76.10 versus the dollar at in 9:02 a.m. after rallying to a record 75.74. Japanese authorities intervened in August to stem the currency’s advance, efforts that have failed to reverse the yen’s climb as investors seek refuge from Europe’s sovereign-debt woes and a U.S. slowdown.

Bank of Japan policy makers will discuss steps to ease the impact of the strong yen on the nation’s economy at a one-day meeting tomorrow, the Nikkei newspaper reported today, without saying where it obtained the information. Measures may include expanding a 50 trillion yen ($657 billion) asset purchase program by 5 trillion yen and purchasing bonds with maturities longer than two years, the newspaper said.

--Editors: Lily Nonomiya, Nerys Avery

To contact the reporters on this story: Kyoko Shimodoi in Tokyo at kshimodoi@bloomberg.net; Toru Fujioka in Tokyo at tfujioka1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Paul Panckhurst at ppanckhurst@bloomberg.net


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