Foreign central banks reduce buying of U.S. government debt

Section:

http://quote.bloomberg.com/apps/news?
pid=10000101&sid=a3Zf4qSM7L20&refer=japan

From Bloomberg News
Thursday, December 11, 2003

The Bank of Japan sold yen and bought dollars in Tokyo,
said traders at financial institutions that deal with the
nation's central bank, marking the third consecutive day
of currency sales.

Japan sold its currency at about 108.30 per dollar, said
the traders, who spoke on condition they not be identified.

Against the dollar, the yen was at 108.26 at 10:50 a.m.
in Tokyo, according to EBS, having traded at a three-year
high of 106.74 on Wednesday. Japan's currency was
also at 132.08 per euro, from 132.53.

"Japan's going to put up a hell of a fight'" to keep the
currency from appreciating, said Greg McKenna, head
of currency strategy at National Australia Bank Ltd.,
Asia's largest lender outside Japan by assets. "Japan
is still on a recovery track, so the yen is still going to
go up." He predicted the dollar would fall to less than
100 yen in the next 12 months.

Finance Minister Sadakazu Tanigaki and Bank of Japan
Governor Toshihiko Fukui have said they are concerned
that a swift rise in the yen will hurt an economy pulling
out of a 12-year slump by making its exports more
expensive.

A Ministry of Finance official declined to comment on
whether Japan sold its currency today. The ministry
directs the central bank to buy or sell yen in the
currency markets.

The Bank of Japan has sold a record 17.8 trillion
yen ($164 billion) this year through Nov. 26, according
to government figures.

The central bank may have sold as much as 1 trillion
yen yesterday in an effort to stem the advance in the
Japanese currency, the Nihon Keizai newspaper
reported, citing market sources.

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