TOKYO (AFP) – The yen pared some of its losses Wednesday as a Japanese official doused speculation that Tokyo was mulling so-called helicopter money to boost growth.
Top government spokesman Yoshihide Suga said a report in Japan s Sankei newspaper that the government was considering direct money transfers was untrue.
The term helicopter money tends to refer to stimulus that would be pumped straight into the economy — such as into people s bank accounts — rather than through the banking system by means of asset purchases and other easing measures.
The report came as Prime Minister Shinzo Abe orders officials to draw up a fiscal plan for boosting growth — following a landmark victory of his ruling coalition in weekend parliamentary elections.
The package could be worth around 10 trillion yen ($97 billion), Japanese media said, though earlier reports put the possible amount at double that figure.
That has also fanned speculation Japan s central bank may ramp up its own monetary easing at its next policy meeting later this month, which would tend to weaken the yen.
“The helicopter comment is what s panicking the market right now,” Stephen Innes, a senior trader at Oanda, told Bloomberg News. “There s some profit taking.”
The dollar edged down to 104.24 yen from 104.66 yen in New York, but it is still stronger than levels below seen 103 yen on Monday.
The euro fetched $1.1061 and 115.22 yen against $1.062 and 115.77 yen.
The prospect of more cash flooding the Japanese market had sent the yen tumbling around four percent since late last week.
“Stimulus expectations are behind the yen s decline, but the biggest factor is the firmness in stocks,” Naoto Ono, an analyst in Tokyo at Ueda Harlow, which provides margin-trading services, wrote in a note to clients.
“Global improvement in risk sentiment also drove yen weakness. But the yen s uptrend remains as markets lack sufficient material to justify that the trend has reversed,” he added.
The pound rose to $1.3302 from $1.3249 in US trade.
The Bank of England is considering whether to cut interest rates for the first time in more than seven years to curb economic fallout from Britain s vote to exit the EU.
The central bank on Thursday concludes its first policy meeting since Britain voted on June 23 to leave the bloc, leading governor Mark Carney to say “some monetary policy easing will likely be required over the summer”.