The Japanese government again used public commentary to deal with its ailing economy, despite calls for formidable structural changes from market-watchers, investors and other governments.
Government intervention to support the yen is a possibility,
Bank of Japan
Gov. Masaru Hayami said this morning, if the currency's rapid decline continues. The yen has fallen more than 4 yen per dollar and more than 6 yen per euro since June 1.
The oral support helped. After Hayami's comments, it took only 105.4 yen to buy a euro; yesterday, it cost 106.06 yen per euro at the close. And lately it cost 123.05 yen per dollar, less than the 123.29 yen per dollar rate yesterday.
But Hayami said he doesn't want a weak yen -- which some market-watchers have said would help Japan -- and he blamed the country's fiscal problems on weak exports due to the global slowdown. The official also said that a weaker yen could hurt Japan's neighboring countries.
New pessimistic economic data from the eurozone took its toll on the euro this morning. Industrial production fell 0.5% in April, according to the latest report. The single currency slipped down to $0.8564 from $0.8606 at last close.
Also pushing down the euro today were lingering
doubts about whether the
European Central Bank
will intervene to support it. Last Friday, another central bank helped prop up its own currency -- the
Swedish Riksbank bought a lot of crowns in a major self-help effort.
As the euro fell, so did the British pound. The sterling fell to $1.3985 from Monday's close of $1.4054.
The dollar bloc was trading in a tight range today. The Australian dollar slid to $0.5230 from $0.5236 at last close. The U.S. currency weakened slightly to the Canadian dollar, trading recently for C$1.5326 from C$1.5336 at the close yesterday.
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