* Stability in FX very important - finmin Suzuki
* Weak yen good for exports, but pushes up costs for
* Wholesale inflation hits 13-year high on rising input
* Market players see no chance of FX action for now
TOKYO, Oct 15 (Reuters) - Currency stability is "very
important" and Japan's government will scrutinize the economic
impact from the foreign exchange moves, Finance Minister
Shunichi Suzuki said on Friday, as the yen slid to its lowest
level since late 2018.
The dollar rose to a near-three-year high against the yen
at 113.885 yen on Friday before the minister's comments,
partly on expectations inflation risks could prod the U.S.
Federal Reserve to raise interest rates sooner than expected. It
remained near that level in early afternoon trading.
Later Friday, the dollar touched 114.075 yen for the first
time since December of 2018.
"Stability in currencies is very important," Suzuki told a
news conference. "We will continue to closely watch currency
market moves and their impact on the economy."
While a weak yen pushes up import costs for some firms and
consumers, it helps exporters, he said.
Japanese policymakers tend to fire off verbal warnings
against an unwelcome yen rises, which could threaten to derail
export-reliant Japanese economy, the world's third largest.
In September, Japan's wholesale inflation hit a 13-year high
as rising global commodity prices and a weak yen pushed up
import costs, putting pressure on corporate margins and raising
the risk of unwanted consumer price hikes.
"I was a bit surprised at the minister's remark, which gave
an impression that he was concerned about a weak yen," said
Masafumi Yamamoto, chief forex strategist at Mizuho Securities.
"He probably wanted to signal a message that a weak yen
doesn't make everything rosy as he needed to show a sympathy
towards consumers facing higher import costs ahead of
That said, no one in the market expected the government to
respond to the yen moves at this stage via measures such as
intervening through yen-buying, he added.
Japan has stayed away from intervening in the currency
market since 2011 when devastating earthquakes and subsequent
Fukushima nuclear crisis triggered a spike in a safe-haven yen.
Economy Minister Daishiro Yamagiwa said "there's no doubt"
that rising fuel costs would affect resource-deficient Japan's
However, Yamagiwa declined to comment on the economic
impacts of a weak yen, saying that commenting on currencies in
his capacity could "cause problems."
(Reporting by Tetsushi Kajimoto; Additional reporting by
Kantaro Komiya; Writing by Leika Kihara; Editing by Ritsuko
Ando, Muralikumar Anantharaman and Gerry Doyle)