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Yen suffers as Nikkei rallies, Japan hints policy shift

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The yen fell against the dollar and the euro on Wednesday, hit by comments by Japan's finance minister that traders took as a sign of future buying by its giant state pension fund of Tokyo stocks.

The inverse relationship between the Nikkei share index and the yen is one of the foreign exchange market's long established trends. Foreign players traditionally sell the yen to hedge purchases of Japanese shares while a stronger Nikkei typically makes Japanese investors more comfortable with investing abroad, also a negative for the currency.

The share index surged to a 3 percent daily gain on Wednesday on the back of Finance Minister Taro Aso's promise that "moves" by the $1.26-trillion government pension fund would become apparent from June.


That came amid rhetoric from Japanese officials read as generally cooling the prospect of more monetary easing in Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's push to drive up inflation and get Japan growing again.

The yen weakened to 102 yen per dollar and 141 per , down 0.3 and 0.4 percent respectively.

The euro showed further signs of resilience to the more explicit opposition shown recently by European Central Bank officials to further gains, rising 0.2 percent against the dollar. At $1.39, it remained below levels seen before ECB President Mario Draghi's verbal intervention on the currency at the weekend, but just a cent off 2014 highs in a market already thinning out ahead of the Easter break.

--By Reuters