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Japan mulling another FX intervention: report

A picture illustration shows U.S. 100 dollar bank notes and Japanese 10,000 yen notes taken in Tokyo
A picture illustration shows U.S. 100 dollar bank notes and Japanese 10,000 yen notes taken in Tokyo

By Leika Kihara

TOKYO (Reuters) - Japan is considering intervening in the currency market again to stem further yen gains after the currency's overnight ascent to a fresh record high against the dollar, the Nikkei newspaper said on Saturday.

If the yen continues to rise, Japanese authorities will step into the market to weaken the currency, and will seek understanding for its unilateral action from its Group of Seven counterparts, the paper said without citing sources.

Growing volatility in global markets has raised investors' appetite for safe-haven currencies like the yen, pushing down the dollar to a record low against the Japanese currency on Friday. It bounced back above 76 yen after falling below its previous record low of 76.25 set in March.

If yen rises persist, the Bank of Japan may also ease monetary policy to support government efforts to weaken the yen at its rate review next month or even earlier, sources familiar with the central bank's thinking say.

Tokyo intervened in the exchange-rate market and eased monetary policy earlier this month, but the measures have not kept the yen from rising as investors seek the currency as a safe-haven against risk.

Japanese policymakers have continued to issue verbal warnings of intervention to stem sharp yen gains since then, while the BOJ has signaled its readiness to ease further if sharp yen rises hurt business sentiment and threaten prospects of economic recovery.

Some in the central bank do not rule out easing policy at an emergency meeting this month, although the chance of this is small unless yen gains are sharp enough to trigger currency intervention and are accompanied by big falls in Tokyo share prices.

But analysts have doubted whether such measures would be effective in countering broad dollar weakness in the market.

(Editing by Jon Boyle)