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Dollar holdings above 155.50 yen in Tokyo

Tokyo, April 25 (Jiji Press) – The dollar climbed above ¥155.50 in Tokyo on Thursday, marking the highest level since June 1990.

At 5 p.m., the dollar stood at ¥155.62-63, compared with ¥154.90-90 at the same time Wednesday.

The fall in the yen against the dollar masked growing speculation about the large difference between Japanese and US interest rates, while hopes for an early rate cut by the US Federal Reserve diminished.

In the United States, recent strong economic data such as consumer prices and retail sales have raised concerns about a resurgence in inflation.

The yen’s decline accelerated this month as speculation grew that there would be no Fed rate cuts until September at least. Many market participants had expected the Fed’s rate-cutting campaign to start earlier.

“There is no change in our determination to take appropriate measures” against the weakening yen, Japanese Finance Minister Shunichi Suzuki said at a parliamentary committee meeting on Thursday.

At a press conference on the same day, Japanese Cabinet Secretary Yoshimasa Hayashi said: “Excessive exchange rate movements are undesirable. We will take all possible measures while closely monitoring developments in the foreign exchange market.” But he declined to comment on possible intervention.

Many market participants had expected the government and the Bank of Japan to step in to support the yen if the dollar rose above ¥155.

Financial authorities “could intervene at any time,” an official at a major Japanese bank said.

Meanwhile, a currency broker said that “foreign players are buying the dollar against the yen because Suzuki and Hayashi’s warnings lack a sense of urgency.”

An official from a major securities house said the possible intervention would have only a “limited impact” on the dollar-yen rate, as the dollar’s current rise against other major currencies is attributed to higher U.S. interest rates that support strong U.S. reflect the economy.

The BOJ is believed to discuss the impact of the yen’s fall on the Japanese economy and prices at its two-day policy meeting that started on Thursday. Much attention is being paid to what BOJ Governor Kazuo Ueda will say about the currency market at a press conference after the meeting on Friday.

There is speculation that the Japanese central bank could reduce its purchases of Japanese government bonds to counter the yen’s decline.



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