Japan's Ministry of Finance (MOF) and the Bank of Japan (BOJ) spent as much as 8 trillion yen (about 102 billion U.S. dollars) buying U.S. dollars on Monday in a currency intervention to stem the yen's appreciation, market players estimated following data release from the central bank on Tuesday.
Based on the latest data released by the BOJ that forecasts changes in current account balances, specifically, data showing a net increase of 7.86 trillion yen in the balance, attributed to " Treasury and miscellaneous funds", market players surmised that the total spent on the intervention on Monday likely ranged between 7.5 to 8 trillion yen.
The government and the MOF on Monday succeeded in temporarily cooling the Japanese currency by about 4 yen to the upper 79 yen mark versus the U.S. dollar. The move granted temporary relief to both currency and stock markets and also to Japan's exporters who rely on a weaker yen to boost profits made overseas as well as their overall competitiveness.
Exporters based here also find it more difficult to send goods overseas when the yen is high and foreign companies outside Japan find the costs involved in buying Japanese-made goods prohibitive.
Both are currently contributing to economic difficulties here and a number of large-cap firms have slashed profit and growth forecasts for this fiscal year due to this, and have seen their shares trade lower.
The yen is often seen as a safe currency haven and Finance Minister Jun Azumi said recently that recent short-term moves in money markets have been "speculative" and "one-sided" and that investors have been making large bets to achieve quick profits.
The government and the central bank have said that they are prepared to make a sustained foray into currency markets if deemed necessary, as part of their pledge to "take any and all measures to weaken the currency" and protect the nation's fragile export sector.