Japan Finance Minister Suzuki reiterates warning against excessive FX volatility

By Tetsushi Kajimoto

TOKYO (Reuters) – Japan won’t rule out any options to deal with excessive currency volatility, Finance Minister Shunichi Suzuki said on Thursday, reiterating a warning against speculative moves on the yen which is struggling near 11-month lows against the dollar.

Suzuki declined to respond when asked whether the government had any plans for making rate checks, usually a prelude to an intervention.

The yen has depreciated to near 150 per dollar, a level seen by financial markets as a red line that would spur Japanese authorities to intervene, like they did last year.

However, analysts are sceptical whether intervention could alter the tide of yen weakening given the divergence in monetary policy between the United States and Japan, with the Federal Reserve keeping rates elevated while the Bank of Japan sticks to monetary easing.

Suzuki has repeated a similar warning earlier this week, seen by markets as an indication of Tokyo’s discomfort with the yen’s persistent weakness.

“It’s desirable for currencies to move stably and excessive volatility is undesirable,” the minister told reporters at his ministry.

“If excessive volatility arises we won’t rule out any options and respond appropriately. To achieve that end, we are carefully monitor moves with a sense of urgency.”

(Reporting by Tetsushi Kajimoto and Kantaro Komiya; Editing by Chang-Ran Kim and Shri Navaratnam)