By Tetsushi Kajimoto
TOKYO (Reuters) – A senior Japanese finance ministry official on Monday warned against investors pushing up the yen rapidly, saying that authorities would watch market moves with a greater sense of urgency amid the global spread of the coronavirus.
The spread of the epidemic has prompted heavy selling of riskier assets by investors and a scramble into assets such as the yen which are perceived to be safer havens during time of financial distress.
Japanese policymakers tend to talk down rises in the currency, fearing that sharp appreciation would hurt competitiveness of the country’s goods overseas and further damage the export-led economy, which is teetering on the edge of recession.
“Nervous moves are seen” in the currency market, the official told reporters, after the yen broke through 104 per dollar and rose as high as 103.52 per dollar.
He added that he would consider whether to hold a meeting with officials…