Yen jumps after G7 clarifies currency statement

The yen has jumped against major currencies after an official representing the G7 rich nations clarified a statement it had made on the currency markets.

The official told Reuters news agency that a comment made earlier "signalled concern about excess moves in the yen".

"Japan will be in the spotlight at the G20 in Moscow this weekend," he added.

Earlier, Japan had interpreted the comments as not showing concern about attempts to weaken the yen.

When the clarification came, the Japanese currency surged against both the US dollar and the euro.

The yen rose to 93.69 per dollar, while one euro bought 125.75 yen.

This week the talk of "currency wars" has been inflamed as France expressed concern at the strength of the euro at a eurozone finance ministers meeting.

Poor communication

Countries are attempting to devalue their weaker currencies in order to make their exports cheaper.

The subject will be discussed at a meeting of G20 finance ministers later this week in Moscow.

The earlier G7 statement, released on the Bank of England's website, said: "We reaffirm that our fiscal and monetary policies have been and will remain oriented towards meeting our respective domestic objectives using domestic instruments, and that we will not target exchange rates"

However, the part that seems to have been overlooked is: "We are agreed that excessive volatility and disorderly movements in exchange rates can have adverse implications for economic and financial stability"

Richard Gilhooly, fixed-income strategist at TD Securities in New York, said: "Rather than calm the markets, the poorly communicated statement has significantly raised volatility and now we have to wait to see the actual outcome of G20 on the weekend."

Japan's Prime Minister - Shinzo Abe - has been trying to kick-start the country's economy since being elected last December. He wants to get domestic prices rising and has taken action to weaken the yen.

More on this story