The Japanese yen’s depreciation accelerated today, edging closer to its highest level in 33 years, amid signals from Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell that interest rate hikes could continue in the face of persistent inflation concerns. The yen traded at 151.44 to the dollar, a marginal increase of 0.06% from the previous session.
On Thursday, Powell reiterated a hawkish stance on interest rates, challenging market expectations that had anticipated rate cuts in 2024. His comments underscored doubts about reaching the Fed’s 2% inflation target with the current policy framework, prompting a shift in market predictions for a potential mid-2024 rate cut from June to July.
This stance has contributed to the yen’s worst performance since August, with a monthly depreciation of 1.42%. The currency’s slide has been notable over the past month, hitting a one-year low of 151.72 against the dollar on October 31 and now approaching a peak not seen since 151.96.
The yen’s sharp decline has caught the attention of Japan’s Ministry of Finance (MOF), with growing concerns about the need for intervention in currency markets to stabilize the yen and mitigate potential impacts on Japan’s economy. The MOF is closely monitoring these developments as the currency teeters near critical levels that previously prompted official action.
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