The yen reached a 15 year high overnight as the Japanese Finance minister’s efforts to talk the currency down appear to have backfired. From MarketWatch:
Strong words against a strong yen from Japanese Finance Minister Yoshihiko Noda failed to prevent the Japanese unit from rising to fresh multiyear highs….
Noda said that recent currency moves are clearly one-sided and that disorderly moves can be harmful to economic stability, according to reports.
But Noda declined to comment on currency-market intervention, which some investors clearly took as a sign that Japan wasn’t ready to back up strong words with direct market action….
Despite Noda’s strong words against yen strength, the yen hit a 9-year high against the euro /quotes/comstock/21o!x:seurjpy (EURYEN 106.6800, -0.9600, -0.8919%) of ¥106.35 on the EBS trading platform, and a 15-year high against the dollar /quotes/comstock/21o!x:susdjpy (USDYEN 84.4400, -0.6700, -0.7872%) of ¥84.24.
The Nikkei and the currency typically move in opposite directions, and today was no exception, with that average declining 1.3%. Other markets show a shift away from risk, with the FTSE and CAC down over 1% and the DAX .89% lower. S&P 500 future are down over 8 points and bonds are rallying.