Asian units fall as rhetoric on 'currency war' heats up
AFPTOKYO -- The yen weakened further in Asian trade on Monday as criticism of the currency's slide heats up, with some warning that Tokyo's foreign-exchange policy could spark a global currency war.
January 29, 2013, 12:38 am TWN
The dollar bought 91.02 yen in Tokyo at closing, up from 90.87 yen in New York on Friday, while the euro was at 122.55 yen from 122.28 yen.
The single currency was also at US$1.3461 from US$1.3457.
The dollar rose to 1,083.77 South Korean won at closing, from 1,074.05 won on Friday.
The dollar was mostly higher against other Asia-Pacific currencies, rising to 9,788 Indonesian rupiah from 9,778 rupiah on Friday, and to 29.92 Thai baht from 29.89 baht.
The greenback also gained SG$1.2361 from SG$1.2306 and to 53.79 Indian rupees from 53.69 rupees while staying flat at 40.70 Philippine pesos.
The Australian dollar weakened to US$1.0414 from US$1.0449, while China's yuan fetched 14.60 yen from 14.54 yen.
The Bank of Japan (BOJ) on Tuesday announced an open-ended easing plan and a two-percent inflation target to stoke growth, a move widely seen as bowing to political pressure.
The move led German Chancellor Angela Merkel to tell the World Economic Forum in Davos on Thursday that she as “not without some concern about Japan right now.”
However, on Monday, Japan's Finance Minister Taro Aso rejected global concerns that Tokyo was orchestrating a slide in the unit.
The yen hit record highs against the dollar in late 2011 — sitting around 75 to the greenback as the U.S. Federal Reserve embarked on its own monetary easing — and remained strong through much of last year, hurting exporters.
But the unit has tumbled in recent months as Japan's new conservative government pledged to stoke growth with big spending and by pressuring the BOJ for more easing measures.
Euro-buying sentiment got a boost from fresh data that showed Germany's business confidence rose to its highest level in seven months.
The European Central Bank said eurozone banks would repay early about 137 billion euros in emergency liquidity loans, a sign of improved health for the 17-nation bloc's financial sector.