Japan Finance Minister denies reports of talks with U.S. on yen intervention

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Japan's Finance Minister Shunichi Suzuki prepares to ring a bell during the New Year ceremony marking the open of trading in 2022 at the Tokyo Stock Exchange in Tokyo

By Tetsushi Kajimoto and Leika Kihara

TOKYO (Reuters) -Japanese Finance Minister Shunichi Suzuki said there was “no truth” to media reports that he had discussed with U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen a joint currency intervention to stem yen weakness during their meeting last week.

Suzuki told reporters that the two confirmed the need to stick to the Group of Seven (G7) financial leaders’ agreement on currencies, which states exchange rates are set by markets and that bloc members would consult each other on any action in FX markets.

The minister also stressed the need for currency stability, saying that rapid moves were undesirable, following the G7 agreement that excess volatility and disorderly moves can have adverse effects on economy and financial stability.

“I’ll closely watch the exchange market movements with a sense of urgency including recent yen weakness and how that may affect the Japanese economy and prices,” Suzuki told parliament later on Tuesday.

Broadcaster TBS last week said Suzuki and Yellen discussed the idea of joint currency intervention to arrest yen falls during their meeting in Washington on Friday.

With the yen hovering at around 128 to the dollar, just off a 20-year low touched earlier this month, speculation has grown that Japan may intervene to stem the weakening.

(Reporting by Tetsushi Kajimoto and Leika Kihara; Editing by Christian Schmollinger and Sam Holmes)

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