Japan’s yen hits 155 per dollar, weakest since 1990

By Thomson Reuters Apr 24, 2024 | 7:19 AM

(Reuters) -The yen fell on Wednesday to its weakest levels against the dollar since 1990, with markets alert to any signs of intervention from the Japanese authorities to prop up their currency.

The dollar reached as high as 155.17 yen, its strongest since 1990, before falling back in choppy trading, a sign of market nervousness around the 155 level. It was last at 154.97, up 0.09%.

The decline in the yen comes after a string of strong U.S. inflation data pushed the dollar to five-month highs andreinforced expectations that the Federal Reserve is unlikely tobe in a rush to cut interest rates this year.

The yen’s slide against the dollar has revived anticipationof currency intervention. Japanese Finance Minister ShunichiSuzuki and other policymakers have said they are watchingcurrency moves closely and will respond as needed.

The strong dollar prevailed at last week’s InternationalMonetary Fund/World Bank Spring meetings in Washington too, andthe United States, Japan and South Korea issued a rare jointstatement on the issue.

Speaking after the Group of 20 (G20) finance leaders’meeting in Washington, Bank of Japan Governor Kazuo Ueda saidthe Japanese central bank may raise interest rates again if theyen’s declines significantly push up inflation, highlighting thedilemma the weak currency has become for policymakers.

The Bank of Japan concludes its latest policy meeting on Friday.

(Reporting by the finance and markets team; editing by Dhara Ranasinghe)