Japanese authorities may have intervened to shore up the struggling yen

Market moves suggest Japanese authorities may have intervened for the second time this week to shore up the struggling yen, which has fallen to its lowest level in more than three decades against the dollar. While Japan is trying to support families under increased inflation pressure, the US is interested in avoiding turbocharging the already strong greenback for reasons including competitive advantage.

According to Jim O’Neill, US officials are already keeping a watchful eye on the yen and may resort to public rhetoric to help Japan stabilize its currency’s slide.

The pace and scale of the yen’s decline suggests the weakness is becoming more like a currency crisis and the market is possibly nearing the “end game,” one economist said. O’Neill was the former chief economist at Goldman Sachs Group Inc., who two decades ago coined the BRIC acronym to describe emerging market superpowers Brazil, Russia, India and China.

‘At some point, this will reach a tipping point because it is also clear that the Bank of Japan and the Japanese authorities will not want a sustained decline in the yen,’ O’Neill said. ‘And neither will the rest of Asia, Beijing included, which probably also means the US Treasury won’t be too happy.

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