Yen hits over 23-yr low vs. dollar in 135 range, stocks plunge

© Kyodo News

The yen slipped Monday to its lowest level against the U.S. dollar in over 23 years, while stocks plunged in Tokyo as high inflation in the United States last month fueled expectations of aggressive monetary tightening by the Federal Reserve.

The Japanese currency briefly accelerated its decline to trade around 135.20, its weakest level since October 1998, on anticipation of a further widening of the interest rate gap between Japan and the United States.

At 3 p.m., the dollar fetched 134.90-93 yen compared with 134.35-45 yen in New York and 133.59-62 yen in Tokyo at 5 p.m. Friday.

The euro was quoted at $1.0485-0489 and 141.44-53 yen against $1.0504-0514 and 141.27-37 yen in New York and $1.0625-0626 and 141.95-99 yen in Tokyo late Friday afternoon.

On the stock market, the 225-issue Nikkei Stock Average ended down 836.85 points, or 3.01 percent, from Friday at 26,987.44. The broader Topix index finished 42.03 points, or 2.16 percent, lower at 1,901.06.

On the top-tier Prime Market, decliners were led by machinery, electric appliance and transportation equipment issues.