Japan’s Finance Minister Shunichi Suzuki has admitted he is keeping a close eye on foreign exchange markets and the weak yen’s “undesirable” exchange rate.
Suzuki told reporters: “Sharp moves are undesirable, currencies should move stably reflecting fundamentals. With that in mind, we will continue to keep firm watch on market moves.”
The latest verbal warning to the markets comes amid policymakers’ concerns that Japanese households are suffering as a result of the weak yen driving up import costs.
On the flip side, the yen’s depreciation has helped boost exporters’ profits, pushing up stock prices to a 33-year high.
The yen was largely steady on Friday at 143.05 per dollar, languishing near an over seven-month low of 143.23 hit in the previous session.
The yen has come under renewed pressure after the Bank of Japan (BOJ) maintained an ultra-dovish stance at its meeting last week.
Data out on Friday showed that Japan’s core consumer inflation topped forecasts in May and an index excluding fuel costs rose at the fastest annual pace in 42 years, putting pressure on the BOJ to phase out its massive stimulus.
- Reuters with additional editing by Sean O’Meara