by Leika Kihara and Tetsushi Kajimoto

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TOKYO (Reuters) – Japan spent a record 2.8 trillion yen (20.19 billion euros) intervening in the foreign exchange market last week to support the yen, finance ministry data showed. Friday.

This intervention, the first in 24 years, was carried out on September 22 and analysts estimate that the expenses communicated by the ministry between August 30 and September 28 were devoted entirely to this operation.

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The previous record of such intervention by the Japanese authorities dates back to 1998, with 2.620 billion yen disbursed at the time to support the country’s currency.

However, the amount of Japan’s latest intervention is less than the sum of 3.6 trillion yen previously estimated by the money markets.

“It’s a high amount for an intervention, if it happened on a single day, which reflects the Japanese authorities’ determination to defend the yen,” said Daisaku Ueno, chief currency strategist at Mitsubishi UFJ Morgan Stanley Securities. .

“But the impact of further intervention will diminish as long as Japan continues to intervene on its own,” he added.

The intervention, decided after the yen fell to 146 to the dollar, a 24-year low against the greenback, saw the Japanese currency immediately drop to around 140 yen to the dollar before rising again. at 144.25 to the dollar.

“The recent sharp and one-sided declines in the yen are increasing uncertainty, complicating business forecasts. So this is undesirable and bad for the economy,” the Governor of the Bank of Japan (BoJ) said on Friday. , Haruhiko Kuroda, according to the minutes of a ministerial meeting.

Japan’s foreign exchange reserves are valued at around 1,300 billion dollars (1,330 billion euros), the largest foreign currency holdings in the world after China.

(Report Leika Kihara and Tetsushi Kajimot; Claude Chendjou, edited by Kate Entringer)

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