The yen fell again yesterday to a fresh low against the US dollar, but was hauled back up after surprise comments from US Deputy Treasury Secretary Lawrence Summers. In early Asian trading, the dollar rose for the fourth straight day against the yen, pushing it as low as 141.55 yen, down from its New York close on Wednesday of 140.18. The yen later fell sharply in US trade to 141.6 after comments buy US Federal Reserve chairman Alan Greenspan that he may need to increase interest rates in due course. The yen was earlier driven by increasing confidence that a Group of Seven meeting in Paris yesterday was unlikely to yield any firm decision on currencies. In impromptu remarks, however, Mr Summers revealed the G7 agreed to watch foreign exchange markets carefully, and had discussed the possible dangers of a weak yen. 'In conversations I have had in Paris, the situation in exchange markets has been part of the discussion of the global economic situation, and certainly the kinds of concerns the Japanese finance minister and [US Treasury] Secretary [Robert] Rubin have discussed in the past regarding the weakness of the yen, and the possible adverse consequences of yen weakness on Asia and the global economy have been highlighted in those discussions,' he said. 'And as always, we will continue to monitor developments in foreign exchange markets.' Japan's Vice-Minister for International Affairs, Eisuke Sakakibara, also said the G7 had discussed various issues, including currencies, and Finance Minister Hikaru Matsunaga reiterated from Tokyo that Japan was still willing to take action to defend the yen. Analysts said it was unlikely the comments would have any lasting impact, and further news about the weakness of the Japanese economy would renew further downward pressure on the country's currency. 'In fighting off the intervention they have slowed the trend, but they cannot change the trend,' Barclays Capital currency economist Jane Foley said. Economists said Japan's first-quarter gross domestic product figures due tomorrow were likely to show a further contraction.