Currency wars: the buzz word that dominated markets early last year threatens to make a comeback at the start of 2014, judging by a rise in official rhetoric from Japan's neighbors about a weak yen.
South Korea is "closely monitoring" the won and the continuing depreciation of the yen, the country's Finance Minister Hyun Oh-seok was quoted saying on Friday. The comments follow similar remarks earlier in the week from Chinese and South Korean officials.
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Perhaps it's no wonder that concerns about the yen's sharp fall, which gives Japanese exporters an edge over its competitors in overseas markets, have resurfaced.
The won on Thursday hit its strongest level in more than five years, contributing to a fall in South Korean stocks to a four-month low on Friday. The yen hit a 15-year low of around 5.7360 yuan on Thursday.
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"You've got to understand what the threshold of pain for other Asian nations would be," said David Greene, had of dealing at AFEX Australia.
"From a technical perspective, 112 [for dollar/yen] is possible this year. Whether other Asian economies such as South Korea see that as negative for their own economies and start to play an intervention role or enter a currency war within the region remains to be seen," he said. "It's not something I would like to bet on as we don't know what central banks are going to do."