Yen weakens in Asia after G20 talks

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A visitor looks at an electric stock price display at the Tokyo Stock Exchange in Tokyo, Tuesday, Feb. 12, 2013. AP FILE PHOTO

TOKYO – The yen weakened in early Asian trade Monday after a G20 meeting ended with the world’s leading economies pledging not to devalue their currencies, but without targeting Tokyo over the yen’s plunge.

 

The dollar strengthened to 93.90 yen, against 93.53 yen in New York on Friday, while the euro fetched 125.40 yen, from 124.97 yen in US trading.

 

The G20 pledge echoed a similar recent statement by the G7 richest nations which was also approved by Japan, whose monetary policy has been heavily criticised over claims it guided the yen’s steep fall in recent months.

 

Japan’s new government and the central bank have denied they were orchestrating a devaluation of the yen to make the country’s exporters more competitive, but all eyes were on the G20 talks to see if Tokyo would be singled out for criticism.

 

Accusations over the yen’s tumble – from about 80 on the dollar and 100 on the euro – is a charge more often levelled at neighbouring China and its yuan currency.

 

“We will refrain from competitive devaluation,” said the G20 statement issued Saturday.

 

“We will not target our exchange rates for competitive purposes.”

 

The G20 communique also set a commitment to move “more rapidly toward more market-determined exchange rate systems and exchange rate flexibility to reflect underlying fundamentals”.

 

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