The yen’s decline on Monday has been spurred by comments from Haruhiko Kuroda about the direction – or lack thereof – of interest rates.
At a speech in Nagoya, the Bank of Japan governor said it was possible for the central bank to cut negative rates further, and then followed up by saying it was possible for the BoJ to raise policy rates in the future, Bloomberg reports.
Thanks for clearing that up. He may as well have said he was going to turn rates into a rabbit, because that told us basically nothing. Forward guidance? Forward confusion, more like it.
The yen is 0.7 per cent weaker today at ¥107.38, its weakest level since early June, and had been off as much as 0.9 per cent.
Even this morning’s better-than-expected GDP data had little immediate impact on the yen.
Last week, for half a day, the yen’s haven status came to the fore in the middle of US election volatility: on Wednesday it traded as strong as ¥101.20.
Just how disappointed markets are with recent efforts by the Bank of Japan to stimulate the economy and jawbone the yen weaker have probably been overridden by the renewed strength in the US dollar.
The rising chances (now at 84 per cent) of the Federal Reserve lifting interest rates in December have put nearly all global currencies under pressure. Even Donald Trump’s election as US president has not slowed the greenback down, with the market taking the view his alleged policies are inflationary and would prompt the Fed to tighten monetary policy faster.