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2011年8月10日 (水)

G7緊急声明 問われる具体的な協調行動

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Aug. 10, 2011)
Coordinated action on financial markets crucial
G7緊急声明 問われる具体的な協調行動(8月9日付・読売社説)

Japan, the United States and European countries have made clear their determination to cooperate to avert turmoil in the financial markets resulting from the recent downgrading of the U.S. credit rating.

Yet the effect has so far been limited and has failed to eliminate unease in the markets. The question now is what concrete policy coordination is needed.

Finance ministers and central bank governors from the Group of Seven leading economies held an emergency telephone conference Monday morning (Japan time) and adopted a joint statement.

They held the conference right before the opening of Asian financial markets, indicating their sense of crisis and intention to forestall unrest in the markets.

It also said, "We are committed to taking coordinated action where needed," making clear their stance of supporting the markets by supplying ample funds.

The statement said, "We are committed to taking necessary measures to support financial stability and economic growth."

Late last week, Standard & Poor's cut the U.S. credit rating for the first time, as the credit ratings agency made a grim assessment of the outlook of U.S. fiscal reconstruction.


Market confidence shaken

The statement did not refer directly to this issue. But the markets' confidence in the U.S. currency has been shaken further, and the financial markets face a crucial juncture. Stock prices may fall worldwide, and the dollar-selling trend may accelerate.

The statement praised the "decisive actions" of the United States and European countries in trying to reduce their fiscal deficits.

The G-7 ministers urged the United States and European countries to steadily take actions to put their fiscal houses in order--actions that the markets would rate highly. The ministers may have been attempting to restore order to the markets.

On Monday, the 225-issue Nikkei Stock Average plunged 202.32 points from Friday's close on the Tokyo Stock Exchange. And on other Asian markets, stock prices declined.

On the currency market, the U.S. dollar was traded at around 78 yen.

A free fall in stock prices and a surge in the yen's value have been averted, at least for now, but prospects remain murky.

The G-7 nations should consider that the markets are calling for additional concerted actions.


Focus on Italy, Spain

In Europe, the yields on government bonds of such deficit-ridden countries as Greece have been rising across the board.

In particular, Italian and Spanish government bonds, whose creditworthiness is a source of spreading uncertainty, are coming under increasing scrutiny.

In tandem with the issuance of the G-7 statement, the European Central Bank promptly decided to buy Italian and Spanish government bonds. We think this is proper.

We hope the ECB will work more closely with France and Germany and they all will do their utmost to contain the crisis.

Japan, for its part, needs to make efforts to prevent the yen from soaring again to the level of 76 yen to the dollar.  日本としては、円相場が再び、1ドル=76円台に急騰する事態を防がねばならない。

The effect of the yen-selling market intervention, which Japan implemented unilaterally on Thursday, has already weakened.

It is significant that the G-7 statement said, "We will consult closely in regard to actions in exchange markets and will cooperate as appropriate," in an effort to hold in check excess volatility in exchange rates.

Japan should demonstrate its resolve to prevent the dollar from plunging and the yen from rising too sharply, by taking such actions as concerted market intervention with the United States and European countries.

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Aug. 9, 2011)
(2011年8月9日01時14分  読売新聞)


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