Japan’s Kishida says it’s ready to take action to support the soaring yen | Business and Economy

The Japanese Prime Minister’s comments come after Tokyo bought yen for the first time since 1998 to support the currency.

Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida has warned that excessive movements in the yen due to speculation cannot be overlooked and pledged to act “with a high degree of vigilance” and intervene if necessary to re-support the currency.

“If there is excessive volatility, we will take action,” Kishida said in a speech to the New York Stock Exchange on Thursday, hours after Japan bought the yen to support the currency for the first time since 1998.

The comments underlined Tokyo’s determination to continue to fight sharp declines in the yen, which have hurt households and retailers even more by pushing up already soaring prices of commodities and fuel imports. It is rare for the Japanese Prime Minister to make explicit comments about currency movements.

Japan intervened in the foreign exchange market on Thursday to buy yen for the first time since 1998, in a bid to support the battered currency after the Bank of Japan (BOJ) was stuck with ultra-low interest rates.

The move, which occurred during late Asian hours, saw the dollar fall more than 2 percent to around 140.3 yen. There were no signs of further intervention or help from other central banks after that. The dollar stood at 142.36 yen at 23:16 GMT.

Friday is a public holiday in Japan, although the country’s chief foreign exchange diplomat Masato Kanda told reporters on Thursday it would not affect Tokyo’s decision on whether and when to intervene again.

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