Japan’s yen plunges to lowest level against the dollar since 1990 | Business and Economy

Japanese currency sinks to 160.17 per dollar, the lowest since April 1990.

The Japanese yen has slumped to a 34-year low against the United States dollar.

The yen on Monday sank to 160.17 per dollar, the lowest since April 1990, prompting speculation that Japanese authorities would intervene to prop up the currency for the first time since late 2022.

The yen has been on a continual slide since early 2021 as the Bank of Japan (BOJ) has maintained ultra-low interest rates, while the US Federal Reserve and other central banks have hiked borrowing costs.

The downward spiral has continued in recent weeks despite the BOJ raising interest rates last month for the first time in 17 years, as expectations of interest rate cuts in the US fade amid above-target inflation.

While the weak yen has helped Japanese exporters boost profits and put more cash in the pockets of tourists visiting Japan, it has put pressure on household budgets by raising the prices of imported goods.

Japanese officials have repeatedly stated that they are prepared to step in to prevent sharp movements in the exchange rate, though authorities have refrained from intervening during the currency’s year-long slide.

On Friday, the Japanese central bank kept its benchmark rate unchanged at 0-0.1 percent.

BOJ Governor Kazuo Ueda said in a news conference that exchange-rate volatility would only affect monetary policy if there was a significant impact on the economy.

“If yen moves have an effect on the economy and prices that is hard to ignore, it could be a reason to adjust policy,” Ueda said.

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