Japan concerned over yen's rapid appreciation: gov't official

The Japanese government expressed concern Friday over the yen's rapid appreciation against the U.S. dollar, with the top currency diplomat saying Tokyo will respond in the event of excessive volatility.
"We have no choice but to be concerned about a rapid movement that cannot be explained by (economic) fundamentals," Masatsugu Asakawa, vice finance minister for international affairs, said at a news conference.
The dollar briefly dropped to just above the 107 yen line, its lowest level in more than five months, as investors fled to the perceived safety of the Japanese currency amid the continuing U.S.-China trade dispute, escalating tensions between the United States and Iran, and expectations of future U.S. interest rate cuts.
The dollar later regained lost ground, trading around 107.50 yen at 5 p.m. in Tokyo.
The yen's appreciation forced Japanese financial authorities to hold a meeting.
"A sensitive movement was observed in the foreign exchange market. We'll act appropriately," Asakawa told reporters later in the day after the meeting of the Finance Ministry, the Bank of Japan, and the Financial Services Agency.

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