NEW YORK — The dollar rose sharply against the yen Monday after the Bank of Japan weakened its currency to help Japanese exporters.
The Bank of Japan says it sold yen and bought dollars during Tokyo trading Monday in order to pull the yen down from a post-World War II high against the dollar. The strong yen was hurting Japanese exporters by making their goods more expensive for overseas customers.
Traders have been buying yen because it is seen as a safe place to store cash during times of global turmoil. Its biggest rivals, the euro and the U.S. dollar, have been less stable in recent months because of the European debt crisis and the uncertain U.S. economy.
In afternoon trading Monday, the dollar jumped to 77.98 yen from 75.75 late Friday.
Meanwhile, concerns about Italy escalated after the yield on the country's 10-year bond rose above 6 percent. That indicated investors' confidence in the country's financial prospects is declining.
The euro fell to $1.3925 from $1.4153. The euro is down 2.3 percent since reaching a seven-week high of $1.4246 Thursday after European leaders reached a deal on a plan to help the region contain its debt crisis.
The Bank of Japan intervention also sent the dollar higher against most other currencies. The dollar rose to 0.8736 Swiss franc from 0.8621 Swiss franc and to 99.60 Canadian cents from 99.34 Canadian cents.
The U.S. dollar was also trading higher against the Australian, New Zealand and Hong Kong dollar, and against currencies in Latin America.
The British pound rose to $1.6130 from $1.6119.