Forexpros - The Japanese yen advanced against the U.S. dollar Friday, as recent yen-weakening moves by the Bank of Japan failed to reverse a wider trend of upward momentum in the Japanese currency.
In early Asian trade USD/JPY hit 79.41, the pair's highest since July 14; the pair subsequently consolidated at 78.40, falling 0.6%.
The pair was likely to find support at 77.01, Thursday's low, and resistance at 79.41, the day's high.
Japanese finance officials have attempted to talk down the local currency, noting that the March 11 earthquake and its negative effects on the economy during the period, don't warrant investor's continued bullish moves on the yen.
Japan's Nikkei Shimbun daily reported that the August 4 intervention by the Bank of Japan to weaken the yen against its counterparts had cost the BOJ USD50 billion.
Currency analysts expected the BOJ gesture to offer only a short-term weakness in the yen in light of an overall positive sentiment on the Japanese currency.
Japan's Finance Minister Yoshihiko Noda speaking in Tokyo Friday about the BOJ intervention said, "We intervened to restrain speculative and disorderly movements, it wasn't targeted at a level."
The European Central Bank, earlier in the day, said it was prepared to purchase Italian bonds in return for promises of further financial reforms from Italy, sending the yen lower against its European counterparts.
The yen surrendered ground to both the euro and the British pound with EUR/JPY up 0.67% to hit 111.91, and GBP/JPY rising 0.02% to hit 128.21.
The market was expected to focus on next week's Federal Reserve decision on short-term interest rates for possible changes in U.S. monetary policy.