Japan Escalates Warnings on Stronger Yen

Japan’s Finance Minister Jun Azumi escalated his warnings against strengthening in the yen toward a postwar high, and signaled that the Federal Reserve is partly to blame for its recent advance.

“Speculative moves are increasing in the market and we can’t overlook them,” Azumi told reporters in Tokyo today as the yen heads for its biggest six-day jump since mid-August against the dollar. Against the “backdrop” of the Fed’s plan to keep interest rates exceptionally low until 2014, “short- term speculative buying” has increased, contributing to the yen’s gain, he said in parliament today.

Azumi’s comments may indicate Japan is closer to resuming foreign-exchange intervention after a record round of yen sales late last year. The admonition comes a day after Sharp Corp (6753)., Japan’s largest maker of LCD panels, forecast its worst annual loss since its founding a century ago, with its president saying exporting is “nearly impossible” with the strong yen.

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