The yen rebounded from the weakest level since 2008 as Japan’s economy minister expressed concern about its slide. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index fluctuated near a record, while gold and silver reversed early losses.
The yen strengthened the most in three weeks against the dollar as Japan’s Economy Minister Akira Amari said further losses in the currency would have negative effects after it fell to the lowest since 2008 last week.
The pound advanced for a third day against the dollar after Bank of England Governor Mervyn King said policy makers aren’t trying to talk it down, damping speculation they are seeking a weaker sterling to spur growth.
The pound strengthened for a fourth year in 2012 against the euro as investors seeking a haven from Europe’s debt crisis pushed the currency higher, even as the Bank of England raised its so-called quantitative-easing target.
The euro slid as the region’s recession deepened more than forecast, while the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index rose to a five-year high after a drop in U.S. jobless claims and a $23 billion buyout offer for HJ Heinz Co.
The yen rose, snapping a two-day decline against the dollar and the euro, as concern over the pace of the U.S. recovery and the financial health of European banks boosted demand for Japan’s currency as a refuge.
The pound fell toward the weakest level in a month against the dollar after an industry report showed U.K. retail sales slowed in December, adding to signs Britain’s economy is lagging behind U.S. growth.