NEW YORK (AP) — The dollar jumped to a 20-month high against the yen Monday after Japan elected a new prime minister over the weekend.
Traders sent the yen lower on concerns that new Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will push for a change in monetary policy. Abe, Japan's seventh prime minister in just over six years, said before he was elected that he wanted the country's central bank to cut interest rates to zero or below to boost Japan's economy. That move could weaken the yen.
The dollar rose to 83.83 Japanese yen late Monday from 83.46 late Friday. The dollar rose as high as 84.207 Japanese yen earlier, its highest point against the yen since April 13, 2011.
The dollar was falling against other currencies as traders waited for developments from budget talks in Washington.
Traders are worried about the U.S. "fiscal cliff," a series of tax increases and government spending cuts set to kick in at the beginning of next year unless the White House and Congress reach an agreement on reducing the budget deficit. Economists believe that could send the U.S. back into recession.
The euro inched up to $1.3160 from $1.3159. The British pound rose to $1.6203 from $1.6167.
The dollar fell to 98.42 Canadian cents from 98.65 Canadian cents.
The dollar was flat at 0.9179 Swiss franc.