Japan intervened, buying yen in foreign exchange market Friday -sources

TOKYO, Oct. 22 (Reuters) – Japan intervened in the foreign exchange market on Friday to buy the yen for the second time in a month after the currency hit a 32-year low near 152 for the dollar, a government official and another person familiar with the case told Reuters.

Japan has tried to strengthen the battered currency while the central bank holds on to ultra-low interest rates, countering a global trend of monetary policy tightening and widening the gap between US and Japanese interest rates.

After the dollar rose to 151.94 yen, its highest point since 1990, the intervention pushed the Japanese currency more than 7 yen to a low of 144.50 yen. The US currency last fell 1.8% at 147.34 yen.

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The Ministry of Finance (MOF) intervened in several phases between 9:35 PM (1235 GMT), a source said.

Japan’s top foreign exchange diplomat Masato Kanda declined to say whether the MOF had intervened.

“We will not comment now on whether or not we have carried out an intervention,” Kanda, the deputy finance minister for international affairs, told Reuters on Saturday, saying this was a position the MOF has taken in recent weeks. has held.

He added that the ministry would not confirm whether any intervention had taken place for some time, suggesting a possible “stealth intervention” to start a war of nerves against investors selling the yen.

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The MOF also bought yen on Sept. 22 as investors focused on the widening divergence between the BOJ’s ultra-easy monetary policy and the aggressive US Federal Reserve rate hikes.

Finance Minister Shunichi Suzuki and Kanda have repeatedly signaled the government’s willingness to intervene and warn of excessive volatility. Suzuki said before the intervention on Friday that authorities were ready to act “strictly” against speculators.

Many market players doubt Tokyo can reverse the yen’s downward trend with solo intervention, even with Japan’s $1.33 trillion in foreign reserves.

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The Group of Seven Industrial Powers agreed this month to closely monitor recent volatility, but did not indicate that they were prepared for a concerted intervention.

Japan bought a record 3.6 trillion yen ($24 billion) in the September move, Tokyo money market brokers estimate.

($1 = 147,6400 yen)

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Reporting by Shinji Kitamura, Yoshifumi Takemoto, Tetsushi Kajimoto and Kentaro Sugiyama; Written by Sakura Murakami and Leika Kihara; Editing by William Mallard

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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