Dollar Firm in Tokyo after Hitting 37-Yr High in N.Y.

Reuters file photo
Euro, Hong Kong dollar, U.S. dollar, Japanese yen, British pound and Chinese 100-yuan banknotes are seen in a picture illustration.

Tokyo (Jiji Press)—The dollar reached as high as around ¥160.70 in Tokyo trading Thursday morning, staying firm after hitting its highest level in 37 and a half years in New York overnight.

The greenback trimmed the gains to stand at ¥160.45-46 at noon, still up from ¥159.89-90 at 5 p.m. Wednesday. In New York on Wednesday, the dollar rose as high as ¥160.88 , a level unseen since December 1986.

Market players bought the U.S. currency against the yen as persistently high U.S. long-term interest rates fueled expectations that the gap between U.S.. and Japanese interest rates is unlikely to narrow for the time being.

Japanese Finance Minister Shunichi Suzuki warned against the dollar’s jump Thursday morning, saying that the country’s authorities are prepared to “take necessary action as needed.”

But the remark had limited effects on the foreign exchange market. A currency broker said that investors “did not sense urgency (from Suzuki) and thought that a currency intervention would not occur immediately.”

Meanwhile, the benchmark 10-year Japanese government bond yield, a key long-term interest rate, shot up to 1.075 pct in Tokyo interdealer trading, highest since May 30.

The Nikkei 225 stock average ended morning trading at 39,286.52, down 380.55 points, or 0.96 pct, from Wednesday’s closing. The benchmark index succumbed to profit-taking after a bullish market the previous day.