The yen weakened from almost its postwar record against the dollar and the Swiss franc tumbled amid speculation policy makers in both countries will seek to curb gains in their currencies that are hurting exporters.
The dollar gained versus the euro as stocks pared advances, while the New Zealand dollar and Swedish krona rose versus all of their most-traded peers. The yen dropped the most in two weeks after Japanese Finance Minister Yoshihiko Noda said he’s ready to take decisive steps to stem its strength. Most Swiss support intervention by their central bank to stop gains in the franc, the newspaper SonntagsZeitung reported yesterday.
“We’ve had further comments by Noda and other Japanese officials indicating a lack of comfort with yen strength,” said Michael Woolfolk, senior currency strategist in New York at Bank of New York Mellon Corp., the world’s largest custodial bank. “Renewed jawboning has contributed to yen weakness.”
The yen fell as much as 0.9 percent to 77.21 per dollar before trading 0.3 percent weaker at 76.78 at 11:51 a.m. in New York. The intraday drop was the biggest since Aug. 4, the day Japan sold its currency. The Japanese currency depreciated 0.2 percent to 110.39 per euro.
The euro was down 0.1 percent to $1.4383, after gaining earlier as much as 0.3 percent, versus $1.4397 on Aug. 19.
The franc declined 0.3 percent to 1.1334 per euro, and was 0.4 percent weaker at 78.80 centimes per dollar.
The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index was up 0.2 percent after earlier climbing as much as 2 percent.