Japan Takes Action To Weaken Yen, Boost Dollar

The Japanese government went on a buying spree Monday to try to weaken the yen and push up the value of the dollar. The exchange rate recently hit about 75 yen to the dollar, which is terrible for Japanese exporters. Honda, Panasonic and Toshiba announced earnings Monday — and all said they're affected by the currency issue.

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STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

NPR's business news starts with Japan slammed by its own currency.

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INSKEEP: The Japanese government went on a buying spree today to try and weaken the yen and push up the value of the U.S. dollar. The yen recently hit about 75 to the dollar, which is bad for Japanese exporters. It means that money made overseas on all those Japanese exports shrinks when it's brought back home and converted into yen.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Today, Honda said quarterly earnings plummeted down more than 50 percent from a year ago, in part because of the currency issue. Panasonic said it will like lose more than $5 billion this year because of weak demand for its electronics and the strong yen. Toshiba did announce a small profit today, but said the strong yen hit profits at its core business, computer chips.

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