Japan must carefully watch markets due to Mideast conflict: Finance Minister

TOKYO (Reuters) – Japan must carefully monitor financial markets, including oil and stocks, with a sense of urgency as uncertainties are rising for global economies due to the conflict in the Middle East, Finance Minister Shunichi Suzuki said on Friday.

Suzuki was speaking to reporters after a cabinet meeting.

When asked about the yen’s weakening trend, he declined to comment on currency levels, saying that doing so would cause confusion in the market.

The yen is on the verge of slipping beyond 150 per dollar, a level seen by some market players as a red line that would spur Japanese authorities to intervene, like they did last year.

“It’s important for currencies to move stably in line with economic fundamentals,” Suzuki said. “Currency rates are set by markets through various factors.”

(Reporting by Tetsushi Kajimoto; Editing by Jacqueline Wong)