Japanese Finance Minister Taro Aso is playing Mr. Cool on Greece.
Aso told reporters on Monday that he doesn’t think declines in Japanese stocks will spread or that the yen will unexpectedly spike in the wake of the Minoan eruption stirred by the Greek debt crisis. The top finance honcho and deputy prime minister also opined that it if Greece exited the euro zone, there might be a big impact on world financial markets. But Aso said the waves would be smaller if Athens merely defaulted but chose to stay in the euro zone.
Japan’s Nikkei, which has been charging to historic highs, slipped to a one-week low on Monday on Grexit jitters. The yen is more or less stable vs. the dollar. But Japanese regulators remain edgy about currency effects as global finance officials grope to solve the crisis.
Bank of Japan officials reportedly say that Asian market reaction to Greece at this point isn’t serious enough to warrant an emergency injection of liquidity. But if the crisis worsens, the BOJ says it will mobilize massive, short-term funds in emergency market operations to soothe panicky investors.