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Japan conducts no currency intervention in December.

TOKYO, Dec. 30 Kyodo

Japan did not conduct currency intervention between Nov. 29 and Dec. 28, the Finance Ministry said Friday.

The country's monetary authorities conducted publicly announced market interventions three times this year -- in March, August and October -- to stem the sharp rise of the yen against the U.S. dollar and other major currencies.

On March 18, the ministry and the Bank of Japan stepped into the foreign exchange market in a concerted manner with other Group of Seven industrialized countries, the first such move in more than 10 years.

The joint intervention, which came a day after the dollar slid to a then record low of 76.25 yen, was designed to curtail a burst of short-term moves that followed the March 11 earthquake and tsunami in Japan.

The two other interventions were conducted unilaterally and triggered criticism even from some G-7 members arguing that the yen had not strengthened so much in effective terms, and that any unilateral action is not effective enough, compared with joint interventions.

The Tokyo authorities dismissed such a view, saying the yen's appreciation was too rapid and caused downside risks to the Japanese economy. A stronger yen normally hurts the nation's export-led growth, paring the overseas profits of export-related companies when repatriated.

On Oct. 31, their intervention helped the dollar briefly recover to as high as 79.55 yen after touching a new record low of 75.32 yen the same day.

Last month, the ministry said the authorities spent a total of 9.09 trillion yen between Oct. 28 and Nov. 28, an amount bigger than earlier expected for the intervention, and the result triggered speculation they stepped into the market even after their announcement on Oct. 31.

More specific data, including the frequency of interventions between October and December, will be released in February.

On Friday, the dollar traded in the 77.50-70 yen range almost throughout the day in Tokyo.
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Publication:Japan Weekly Monitor
Date:Jan 2, 2012
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