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Monday, March 27, 2023

Japanese Yen Crashes Past Key 150 Level

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The Japanese yen hit its weakest exchange rate against the US dollar since 1990 on Thursday, dropping to 150 yen to the greenback.

The Nikkei 225 stock index was also down, losing nearly 1% during morning trading to 27,006.96 points. The Topix index shed 0.51% to 1,895.41.

Japanese Finance Minister Shunichi Suzuki threatened to intervene and vowed to take “appropriate steps” against currency market volatility.

A Yen previously slid in June, when it hit 132 against the dollar, the weakest level in 20 years.

Analysts say the depreciation of the Japanese currency stems from the central bank’s reluctance to tighten monetary policy at a time when the US Federal Reserve, along with many other regulators, is hiking rates to tame soaring inflation.

Japan’s current baseline interest rate stands at 0%. The Bank of Japan on Wednesday ruled out a rate hike to prevent further weakening of the currency. Policymakers stressed the need to protect the economy from heightening overseas risks.

A meeting of the Bank of Japan is scheduled for next week.

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