Yen jumps as traders suspect intervention

The Yomiuri Shimbun
The Finance Ministry’s headquarters building in Tokyo

TOKYO/LONDON/NEW YORK (Reuters) — Japanese authorities likely intervened in markets to stem the slide of the country’s battered currency on Friday, market participants said, following an unexpected jump in the yen against the dollar.

The yen rose as high as 144.50 per dollar JPY=EBS on Friday, up more than 7 yen from a 32-year low of 151.94 yen per dollar, touched earlier in the session. The dollar was last down 1.8% at 147.34 yen.

It’s very clearly the ministry of finance stepping in to sell dollar-yen, said Mazen Issa, senior FX strategist at TD Securities in New York.

Karl Schamotta, chief market strategist at Corpay in Toronto, concurred. “We are hearing large blocks are being traded,” he said. “That typically means either larger institutions are moving money or that a central bank is intervening in size. The clearest evidence is just the scale of dollar selling that is happening.”