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September, 30, 2016

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Yen retreats as Japan officials warn over unit's strength

TOKYO -- The yen retreated Friday as Japanese officials repeated warnings they could step into currency markets to tame the soaring unit, which threatens profits at the country's exporters. Traders piled into the yen against the dollar after the Fed on Wednesday kept interest rates ultra-low, saying it needed to see a stronger economy before tightening monetary policy.

Japan's top government spokesman, Yoshihide Suga, on Friday said the government was "concerned" by the stronger yen.

That followed comments from a finance ministry official who hinted at the possibility of a market intervention to weaken the currency. A stronger yen hurts profits at Japanese firms that do business abroad.

It was the latest in a string of comments from Tokyo aimed at pushing down the yen, which has soared since the start of the year as volatility on financial markets and worries about global growth boost demand for the safe-haven unit.

In Tokyo on Friday, the U.S. dollar was changing hands at 101.18 yen, up from 100.77 yen in New York late Thursday. But it is still down from levels above 102 yen before the Fed decision and soon after the Bank of Japan unveiled an overhaul of its monetary policy to kickstart inflation. The euro rose to 113.21 yen from 112.94 yen while it bought US$1.1201 against US$1.1208.

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