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Yen climbs to a 3-month high as investors unwind riskier stocks news
06 March 2007

Mumbai: The Japanese currency climbed to a three-month high against the US dollar as Asian stocks extended a global slump, and investors unwound riskier investments funded by yen loans.

The yen rose to 115.63 against the dollar at 2:39 p.m. in Tokyo after reaching 115.39, the strongest since December 8, from 116.75 in New York on March 2. It also advanced to 152.32 against the euro after touching 151.76, the highest since November 24.

The Japanese yen has gained 4.3 per cent against the dollar over the past five days.

The yen also gained from a government report that showed companies invested at a faster pace than expected, adding to the Bank of Japan''s case for raising interest rates. The yen gained nine per cent in five days against the South African rand and 7.7 per cent versus the New Zealand dollar as traders bought yen to pay loans.

The yen rose 1.9 per cent against the pound, with the currency climbing to a three-month high of 222.52. The yen rose to 15.4580 to the rand from 15.7502, 78.88 against the New Zealand dollar from 80.39 and 89.88 versus the Australian dollar from 91.36.

Speaking to reporters in Tokyo, Japanese finance minister Koji Omi said foreign exchange rates should reflect economic fundamentals. He declined to comment on specific exchange rate levels.

Investment in Japan rose 16.8 per cent in the fourth-quarter from a year earlier, data given by the Ministry of Finance showed. Preliminary reports based on revised data say the government may revise its gross domestic product estimate on March 12 from a preliminary report that showed the economy grew at an annual 4.8 per cent, the fastest in more than two years.

Investors can borrow money in Japan at the lowest rate among major economies. The key overnight rate of 0.5 per cent compares with 9.0 per cent in South Africa and 7.25 per cent in New Zealand.

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Yen climbs to a 3-month high as investors unwind riskier stocks