The Japanese Yen surged to a fresh 15-year high against the U.S. dollar on Tuesday, August 24, after the Japanese government failed to say it would take steps to curb the currency’s strength amid growing concerns about the pace of the recovery.
It was the dollar’s lowest level against the yen since 1995, during what was then commonly known as Japan’s “Lost Decade,” characterized by stagnant economic growth and high unemployment. The euro also fell to its lowest level against the yen since 2001.
CNN/Money reported the greenback fell more than 1% against the Japanese yen to ?84.16 early Tuesday, before paring back some of those losses to trade around ?84.30. The dollar managed gains against other currencies, including the euro and the British pound.
The yen gained against major currencies across the board, as jittery investors flocked to the Japanese currency, which was typically seen as a low-risk investment during times of economic uncertainty. Japanese finance minister Yoshihiko Noda failed to signal whether authorities would intervene to limit the yen’s rise.
According to the report, Noda told reporters at a press conference in Tokyo that “disorderly” moves in the yen could harm economic stability. A stronger yen can hurt profits at Japan’s export businesses, sending the Nikkei stock index down 1.3%.