The Japanese yen surged to an all-time high against the US dollar late Wednesday (New York time) as it surged about 340 pips, or 4.2 percent, against the US dollar in a span of roughly 30 minutes. 

This huge movement took the USD/JPY to 76.39, which is the all-time high for the yen against the dollar.

Previously, the all-time high was 79.75, made in 1995.

In the aftermath of the tragic earthquake, the Japanese yen has surged due to the repatriation of foreign funds back to Japan and the expected payments from insurance companies who need to pay claims in Japanese yen.

It is unclear what triggered the huge move late Wednesday, which started at 4:55 p.m. New York time.   

Given this latest move and previous rounds of rallies, intervention from the Bank of Japan to weaken the yen is clearly imminent, said Douglas Borthwick, managing director at Faros Trading in Stamford, Conn.

The yen's recent surge against all currencies is expected to hurt the country's exporters by making it hard for them to both compete with domestic goods and exports from other countries.

Japanese officials are persistently worried about Japanese exporters leaving Japan and setting up shop in South Korea and China, said Borthwick.

Michael Wollfolk of BNY Mellon offered the following interpretation:

A successful test of the 80.00 [level] prompted speculators to attack the JPY once it was determined the the BOJ would not put up any significant resistance. 

Email Hao Li at

Click here to follow the IBTIMES Global Markets page on Facebook

Click here to read recent articles by Hao Li