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The yen fell to a one-month low against the US dollar following a news report that Tokyo has sounded out Masayoshi Amamiya, the Bank of Japan’s deputy governor and its chief monetary strategist, to succeed as the central bank’s next chair.

Citing government and ruling coalition officials, the Nikkei newspaper said the government was making final arrangements to present its nominations for the BoJ governor and the deputy governors later this month.

The nomination of Amamiya, who has been widely tipped to succeed the incumbent Haruhiko Kuroda, would end months of speculation over who will take on the delicate task of steering Asia’s most advanced economy towards interest rate normalisation.

The yen fell to about ¥132.50 early on Monday as speculation spread that Amamiya will not make a radical departure from Kuroda’s ultra-loose monetary policy.

The currency then traded 0.9 per cent lower at ¥132.30 after finance minister Shunichi Suzuki told reporters that he was not aware of the government approaching Amamiya. According to Jiji news agency, Amamiya did not respond to reporters asking about the Nikkei report.

The change in leadership comes amid strong market pressure on the BoJ to abandon its aggressive monetary easing as Japan’s core inflation rate — which excludes volatile food prices — has risen to a 41-year high of 4 per cent.

This post was originally published on Financial Times

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