'Mr. Yen' says the currency could plunge to 170 per dollar

TOKYO, Oct 26 (cnbc.com) - The Japanese currency could weaken even further to 170 levels against the U.S. dollar next year, according to Japan’s former vice minister of finance for international affairs, Eisuke Sakakibara.

Sakakibara, known as “Mr. Yen” for his efforts to influence the currency’s exchange rate through verbal and official intervention in the late 1990s, said he expects the currency to depreciate further as it hovers near its weakest levels in 32 years.

Commenting on reports of yet another intervention being conducted by officials late last week, Sakakibara said, “Most of the business people are now expecting further depreciation of the yen. 170 is well in the scope,” speaking on CNBC’s “Street Signs Asia.”

Japanese officials last publicly confirmed to have taken direct action to defend the currency in September, when they reportedly spent a record 2.8 trillion yen ($19.7 billion) to stem the yen’s sharp declines, according to Reuters. The currency resumed further weakening to breach a key psychological level of 150 within a month.

Sakakibara’s forecast for the yen comes as Japanese officials remain tight-lipped on publicly confirming a second intervention taking place to defend the currency. ...continue reading