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Barclays Says Currency Trading Disrupted as Yen Rose to Record

Barclays Plc said it halted trading of the yen versus the dollar yesterday on its foreign-exchange trading system as the Japanese currency surged to a record high in late New York trading.

“Due to unprecedented volume in yen-based currency pairs, we extended our normal daily reset time period between New York/Asia time zones,” London-based spokeswoman Schuyler Clemente said in a statement today. “Subsequent to this, we maintained superior yen pricing through a period of extremely high volume without interruption.”

The yen reached a post-World War II record against the dollar, jumping 4.5 percent in 26 minutes as the risk of radiation leaks from a crippled Japanese nuclear plant stoked speculation insurers and investors will redeem overseas assets to pay for reconstruction. Barclays, the U.K.’s third-biggest bank, wasn’t more specific about the extent of the delay.

The yen strengthened to as high as 76.36 per dollar at 5:21 p.m. in New York yesterday, according to a quote recap available in Bloomberg data, from 79.78 at 4:55 p.m. Japan’s currency closed 0.9 percent higher at 78.89 in New York trading today.

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