BOJ's Kuroda urges restraint on tariffs, says stable FX desirable

By Scott and Squires BUENOS AIRES (Reuters) - Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda issued a plea on Saturday for leaders of major economies to step back from a tariff war, and said stable currency markets were to everyone's benefit. Kuroda spoke on arrival at a meeting of Group of 20 finance leaders, in response to questions on assertions from U.S

Reuters July 22, 2018 00:05:22 IST
BOJ's Kuroda urges restraint on tariffs, says stable FX desirable

BOJs Kuroda urges restraint on tariffs says stable FX desirable

By Scott and Squires

BUENOS AIRES (Reuters) - Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda issued a plea on Saturday for leaders of major economies to step back from a tariff war, and said stable currency markets were to everyone's benefit.

Kuroda spoke on arrival at a meeting of Group of 20 finance leaders, in response to questions on assertions from U.S. President Donald Trump that Europe and China were manipulating their currencies in favour of their economies.

"It is most desirable for currencies to move stably and reflect economic fundamentals," Kuroda said. "This is something we have already reached agreement about at Group of 7 and at G20 (level)."

Kuroda also sent hoped debate at the G20 would lead to an easing of retaliatory tariff increases between the United States and China.

"Trade protectionism poses merits to no one involved. I think restraint will eventually take hold," he said.

Trump has broken with precedent in his presidential role in recent days with comments criticising the dollar's strength and the monetary policies of the U.S. Federal Reserve and central banks in China and Europe.

He tweeted on Friday that Fed rate hikes were taking away the U.S.' "competitive edge" in exports.

Trump's comments have sparked concern that currencies will become a new battle ground in the simmering trade war.

But, arriving in Buenos Aires, U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin told reporters that Trump was not trying to intervene in currency markets.

The subject is particularly sensitive for Japan because its central bank, under Kuroda's leadership, has pursued a massive quantitative easing programme to spur inflation.

After five years of easing, the BOJ's attempts to push up inflation have produced minimal results. But the yen has steadily weakened, which could lay Japan open to criticism from its trading partners.

The United States this month imposed 25 percent tariffs on $34 billion of Chinese goods to lower the U.S. trade deficit, and China quickly retaliated with an increase in tariffs on U.S. goods.

Trump has imposed tariffs on imported steel and aluminium, a blow to Japanese exporters, and has also criticised Japan for its trade surplus and the small number of American vehicles it imports.

Asked about reports that the BOJ would debate at this month's rate review whether to make its yield curve control (YCC) policy more flexible, Kuroda said: "It's inappropriate to say anything predictive on the outcome of the meeting."

Reuters reported that the BOJ, facing stubbornly low inflation, is in unusually active discussions before this month's policy decision, with changes to its interest-rate targets and stock-buying techniques on the table.

(Reporting by Scott Squires in Buenos Aires, writing by Stanley White and Leika Kihara in Tokyo; editing by John Stonestreet)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

Updated Date:

TAGS:

also read

France, Germany to agree to NATO role against Islamic State - sources
| Reuters
World

France, Germany to agree to NATO role against Islamic State - sources | Reuters

By Robin Emmott and John Irish | BRUSSELS/PARIS BRUSSELS/PARIS France and Germany will agree to a U.S. plan for NATO to take a bigger role in the fight against Islamic militants at a meeting with President Donald Trump on Thursday, but insist the move is purely symbolic, four senior European diplomats said.The decision to allow the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to join the coalition against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq follows weeks of pressure on the two allies, who are wary of NATO confronting Russia in Syria and of alienating Arab countries who see NATO as pushing a pro-Western agenda."NATO as an institution will join the coalition," said one senior diplomat involved in the discussions. "The question is whether this just a symbolic gesture to the United States

China's Xi says navy should become world class
| Reuters
World

China's Xi says navy should become world class | Reuters

BEIJING Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday called for greater efforts to make the country's navy a world class one, strong in operations on, below and above the surface, as it steps up its ability to project power far from its shores.China's navy has taken an increasingly prominent role in recent months, with a rising star admiral taking command, its first aircraft carrier sailing around self-ruled Taiwan and a new aircraft carrier launched last month.With President Donald Trump promising a US shipbuilding spree and unnerving Beijing with his unpredictable approach on hot button issues including Taiwan and the South and East China Seas, China is pushing to narrow the gap with the U.S. Navy.Inspecting navy headquarters, Xi said the navy should "aim for the top ranks in the world", the Defence Ministry said in a statement about his visit."Building a strong and modern navy is an important mark of a top ranking global military," the ministry paraphrased Xi as saying.