Just eight months ago, Brazilian Finance Minister Guido Mantega declared a “truce” in competitive currency devaluations. Now, Japanese and Swiss moves to weaken the yen and the franc show reviving tension in foreign-exchange markets as the deteriorating U.S. economy weighs on the dollar.
Japan sold yen today, causing the currency to weaken as much as 4 percent against the dollar after rising 5 percent last month. “Ongoing one-sided moves” would hurt the recovery from a March earthquake, Finance Minister Yoshihiko Noda said. Yesterday, the Swiss National Bank cut interest rates to rein in the franc after a gain of about 36 percent in the past 12 months.