• The yen surged against the dollar in early Asian hours on Thursday on what traders suspected was another round of intervention by Japanese authorities to stop a sharp slide in the currency, with the 160 level seen as a key line of defence.
  • The dollar fell sharply to precisely 153 yen from about 157.55 yen for reasons that were not immediately clear , but traders and analysts were quick to say it was dollar selling ordered by Japan’s Ministry of Finance to support a currency languishing at 34-year lows.
  • The latest move came in a quiet period for the currency pair, after the U.S. stock market had closed and with the Federal Reserve’s monetary policy meeting ending hours earlier.
  • The dollar was already on the back foot after Fed Chair Jerome Powell confirmed that the central bank’s bias was towards interest rate cuts, even if the timing has been delayed by sticky inflation.