The yen dropped from a post-World War II record against the dollar after Japan intervened in currency markets. Asian stocks sank as companies reported lower- than-estimated earnings and commodities declined.
The yen sank 4.5 percent to 79.20 per dollar as of 1:25 p.m. in Tokyo after climbing to a record 75.35 earlier today. The Australian dollar dropped 1.6 percent. The dollar-denominated MSCI Asia Pacific Index slid 2.8 percent and Standard & Poor’s 500 Index futures lost 0.7 percent. Copper sank as much as 3.7 percent in London, gold dropped 1.4 percent, and oil retreated 0.8 percent in New York.
Japanese Finance Minister Jun Azumi said today the government took unilateral steps to weaken the yen, which strengthened even as stocks rallied globally this month on optimism that Europe will contain its debt crisis. Group of 20 leaders will gather Nov. 3-4 in Cannes, France, while central bankers from Australia, the U.S. and Europe will hold interest- rate policy meetings this week.