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Japan repeats warning on sliding yen, keeps mum on FX intervention chance

Friday, June 10, 2022
Japan repeats warning on sliding yen, keeps mum on FX intervention chance © Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Japan's Finance Minister Shunichi Suzuki wearing a protective face mask delivers his policy speech during the start of an extraordinary session of the lower house of the parliament, amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, in Tokyo, J

By Daniel Leussink and Tetsushi Kajimoto

TOKYO (Reuters) - Japanese Finance Minister Shunichi Suzuki on Friday refrained from commenting on the possibility of government intervention in the foreign exchange market to stem a weak yen, while maintaining his warning against any rapid fluctuations.

The latest jaw-boning came a day after the yen hit a fresh 20-year low against the dollar and a seven-year through against the euro on expectations the Bank of Japan (BOJ) will continue to lag behind other major central banks in exiting stimulus policy.

The weak yen trend has boosted the prices of imported commodities and pushed up the cost of living for resource-deficient Japan.

"I won't comment on currency levels, including the question (of intervention) to avoid causing any impact from an offhand comment," Suzuki told reporters when asked about the possibility of intervention.

"What's most important is currency stability as rapid fluctuations are not desirable," Suzuki told a news conference, repeating the official line.

"We will continue to carefully watch currency market movements and their impact on Japan's economy with a sense of urgency."

The Japanese currency on Thursday weakened to as much as 134.56 yen per dollar.

Japanese currency authorities were likely left in a bind over the yen's weakening, said Daisaku Ueno, chief forex strategist at Mitsubishi UFJ (NYSE:MUFG) Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS) Securities.

"Verbal intervention is not working, while it has not reached a danger zone around 145 yen that I think warrants actual intervention," Ueno said.

The yen has lost over 14% against the dollar so far this year. It last traded at about 134.05 yen per dollar.

Japan in theory could take unilateral action by intervening, while giving U.S. authorities advanced notice of such a move, Ueno said.

"But that would upset (U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet) Yellen who is a firm believer of market-determined exchange rates, particularly at a time when the U.S. is battling rising inflation," he added.

However, despite repeating verbal warnings against the yen's recent weakening, Japanese authorities remain in no mood to intervene in the exchange market, partly because a strong U.S. dollar suggests the currency's slide is due to fundamental factors.

A government source with knowledge of the matter told Reuters on condition of anonymity that the velocity of the yen's move would matter the more than any particular levels in judging the need for intervention.

Suzuki on Friday said Japan's government would respond appropriately based on the Group of Seven agreement on foreign exchange.

There is no clear consensus among analysts on the trigger point for currency intervention.

Some investors had previously seen 125 yen to the dollar as a trigger for action in the foreign exchange market - the level known as the "Kuroda line" after BOJ Governor Haruhiko Kuroda signalled caution when the yen last reached that mark in 2015.

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30-06-2022 05:34:41 (UTC+7)

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 EUR/USD1.0444↑ Buy
 GBP/USD1.2125↑ Buy
 USD/JPY136.55↑ Sell
 AUD/USD0.6881Buy
 USD/CAD1.2892Neutral
 EUR/JPY142.62↑ Buy
 EUR/CHF0.9973↑ Buy
 Gold1,819.60↑ Sell
 Silver20.733↑ Sell
 Copper3.7793↑ Buy
 Crude Oil WTI109.60Sell
 Brent Oil112.25↑ Buy
 Natural Gas6.432Sell
 US Coffee C228.05↑ Sell
 Euro Stoxx 503,514.32Neutral
 S&P 5003,818.83↑ Buy
 DAX13,003.35↑ Sell
 FTSE 1007,312.32Sell
 Hang Seng21,996.89Neutral
 Small Cap 20001,713.32Neutral
 IBEX 358,188.00↑ Buy
 BASF41.580↑ Sell
 Bayer57.62Neutral
 Allianz183.72Buy
 Adidas170.02↑ Sell
 Lufthansa5.813↑ Buy
 Siemens AG101.40↑ Sell
 Deutsche Bank AG8.571Neutral
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