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Japanese yen soars, then slows after G-7 intervention

Date Posted: 2011-03-24

The Japanese yen took a sky high jump this week, rising to a level not seen in postwar Japan, hitting ¥76.25 for a brief period.

The nose-diving U.S. dollar plummeted to below the previous low of ¥79.75, recorded on April 19, 1995. The yen’s sudden move surprised investors, who’d been expecting the Japanese currency to slide in the wake of the disastrous earthquake and tsunami March 11th. Fears of sharp yen appreciation worried economists fearful of a setback in the country’s economic recovery.

The Group of Seven major industrialized nations quickly pledged coordinated intervention, and the U.S. Federal Reserve Board and the central bank of Canada stepped in, slowing the yen’s rise by selling off Japanese currency. Immediately after the G7 announcement, the Japanese currency slipped from ¥79.45 to ¥81.26.

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