Week in FX Asia – Is Future Yen Weakness A Myth?

Certainly a concern to the lemming bear Yen trades out there is that USD/JPY price action has very much disappointed after the BoJ leadership sailed through Japan’s parliament. Buying USD/JPY has been the “no brainer trade” to date, fueled by better than anticipated US fundamental data and supported by the expected reflation BoJ efforts next month. Even this week’s US Retail Sales and claims headline is supporting the dollar, more so now that US yields are on the move. One risk is that US yields could eventually undermine the “long-tooth” equity rally. Rumors of an unscheduled easing measure right after Kuroda takes office has taken the Yen in the direction Japanese PM Abe has pointed all along. Abe’s aide talk about 98-100.0 being “fair-value” levels should become self-fulfilling.

The Bank of Japan will be under new management from March 20th, which is widely expected to lead to the implementation of more aggressive monetary policy, perhaps as soon as April. It looks like this market wants to sit on their hands until then. There are market suggestions that an unscheduled Bank of Japan policy meeting may take place immediately after the new BoJ governor takes office on March 20th. This move would obviously allow time for BoJ staff to study “the practicalities of any new easing proposals before a final decision can be made at the scheduled meeting on April 3-4.” Until then USD/JPY can only do one thing and that’s stay relatively bid. One wonders now how much longer other Asian central banks can go without reacting to the weak Yen threat?

The loudest section of the forex market is trying to bully the masses into believing that holding the dollar is the best chance of a winning hand. More analysts are now expecting the ‘mighty’ buck to sharply outperform GBY, JPY and AUD and some of the other noted G10 members, thanks to higher US yields and an improved US balance sheet. But, where is domestic Japan? The Yen weakness started in September and gathered momentum mid-November when the full dollar bullish breakout above 81.0 occurred. Risk appetite was strong back in September due to Draghi’s OMT and also QE3 announcement and by November Shinzo Abe arrived on the scene and Abenomics began. To date this has been predominately an offshore currency move. Where is domestic Japan? The Japanese housewife has yet to be sold on the weak yen story. They are needed to fulfill PM Abe’s dream.



* AUD RBA Policy Meeting Minutes
* GBP Consumer Price Index
* EUR German ZEW Survey (Economic Sentiment)
* GBP U.K. Chancellor Osborne Presents 2013 Budget to Parliament
* EUR German Producer Prices
* GBP Bank of England Minutes
* GBP Jobless Claims Change
* USD Federal Open Market Committee Rate Decision
* NZD Gross Domestic Product

This article is for general information purposes only. It is not investment advice or a solution to buy or sell securities. Opinions are the authors; not necessarily that of OANDA Corporation or any of its affiliates, subsidiaries, officers or directors. Leveraged trading is high risk and not suitable for all. You could lose all of your deposited funds.

Dean Popplewell

Dean Popplewell

Vice-President of Market Analysis at MarketPulse
Dean Popplewell has nearly two decades of experience trading currencies and fixed income instruments. He has a deep understanding of market fundamentals and the impact of global events on capital markets. He is respected among professional traders for his skilled analysis and career history as global head of trading for firms such as Scotia Capital and BMO Nesbitt Burns. Since joining OANDA in 2006, Dean has played an instrumental role in driving awareness of the forex market as an emerging asset class for retail investors, as well as providing expert counsel to a number of internal teams on how to best serve clients and industry stakeholders.
Dean Popplewell