Japan acts to weaken Yen
TOKYO — Japan moved Wednesday to prop up the U.S. dollar and weaken the yen in a bid to protect its export-led economy, intervening in international currency markets for the first time since 2004.
The Japanese monetary authorities appeared to have purchased dollars and sold yen, dealers said, a move that started a wider market rally that strengthened the dollar by about 3 percent on the day to ¥85.50. Overnight, the dollar had dropped to a 15-year low of ¥82.86.
The maneuver came after Prime Minister Naoto Kan’s victory over a challenger in a partywide ballot Tuesday. Analysts initially predicted that the win by Mr. Kan, who had been less explicit about the need for intervention than his rival, Ichiro Ozawa, would probably not lead to action in currency markets.
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