#CurrencyCrisis: Japanese yen reaches 32-year low against US dollar

Person counting Japanese yen notes.

The Japanese yen touched a 32-year low against the US dollar after official figures showed that prices had risen faster that expected in America.

The yen fell to 147.66 against the US dollar before regaining some ground.

Japanese Finance Minister Shunichi Suzuki said the government will take “appropriate action” against the currency’s volatility.

In a rare move last month, Japan spent almost $20bn to prop up the country’s struggling currency.

“We cannot tolerate excessive volatility in the currency market driven by speculative moves. We’re watching currency moves with a strong sense of urgency,” Mr Suzuki told reporters after attending a G7 finance meeting in Washington, DC.

    Last month, Japan intervened in the global currency market to help support the weakening yen.

    That move came after the yen hit a fresh 24-year low against the dollar, marking the first time that Japanese authorities had intervened in the currency market since 1998.

    However, analysts have warned that interventions like this would have little effect as long as Japan’s interest rates remain far lower than those in the US.

    The Japanese currency has come under increasing pressure in recent months, mainly due to the very different approach taken by the Bank of Japan (BOJ) in comparison with the US Federal Reserve.

    On Thursday, official figures showed that consumer prices in the US rose more than expected last month in a sign that the inflation fight in the world’s largest economy is far from over.

    Inflation, the rate at which prices rise, was 8.2% in the 12 months to September, down from 8.3% in August.

    Rising consumer prices in the US are being closely watched as the Federal Reserve’s efforts to cool inflation push up the value of the dollar as well as global borrowing costs.

    America’s central bank has been aggressively raising its interest rates to combat soaring prices, which has made the dollar more attractive to investors. In contrast, the BOJ kept rates very low.

    The dollar’s strength on the global financial markets is also having an impact on other major currencies around the world, including the pound and the euro.

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