Japan Hits Low Y2.094 Trillion Trade Deficit Last Month

Japan posted a merchandise trade deficit of 2.094 trillion yen in September, its Ministry of Finance said on Thursday.

That exceeded expectations for a shortfall of 2.167 trillion yen following the downwardly revised 2.820 trillion yen deficit in August (originally -2.817 trillion yen), RTT News cited.

Exports climbed 28,9 percent to 8.818 trillion-yen, topping forecasts for an increase of 27.1 percent following the downwardly revised 22.0 percent gain in the previous month (originally 22.1 percent).

Imports surged an annual 45.9 percent to 10.912 trillion yen versus expectations for an increase of 45.0 percent and slowing from 49.9 percent a month earlier.

‘Appropriate Steps’ To Tackle Volatile Yen

Meanwhile, Japanese Finance Minister Shunichi Suzuki said the government will take appropriate steps against excessive currency market volatility, following the yen’s slide to a fresh 32-year low and towards the key psychological barrier of 150 to the dollar.

“Recent rapid and one-sided yen declines are undesirable. We absolutely cannot tolerate excessively volatile moves driven by speculative trading,” Suzuki told parliament on Thursday.

“We will continue to take appropriate steps against excess volatility, while watching currency market developments with a strong sense of urgency,” he said.

Suzuki’s remarks came after the yen hit 149.91 to the dollar in overnight trading, its weakest since 1990. The greenback stood around 149.84 in early Asia trading on Thursday.

Markets are on high alert on whether Japan will intervene in the currency market again as the yen falls near the key psychological barrier of 150 to the dollar.

The government, which holds jurisdiction over currency policy, spent 2.8 trillion yen (S$27.1 billion) in dollar-selling, yen-buying intervention last month when authorities acted in the markets to prop up the yen for the first time since 1998.

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