The Yen Kowtows

by Michael J. Howell20. October 2017 17:21

Big changes are underway in Asia. Investors may already be seeing this in the recent divergence between the rising Japanese stock market and the sideways-moving Yen. Digging beneath the surface, it seems clear that official BoJ/MoF policy towards the Yen has changed. We have long suggested that a move was imminent, ever since a recent BoJ-led research paper highlighted the changed structure and focus of the Japanese export economy away from supplying final goods to America and Europe, and increasingly towards sending intermediate goods to China. A stable Yen is now important. Put differently, the importance of the Yen/ Yuan cross is fast-rising relative to the Yen/ US dollar cross. It means Japanese liquidity and asset prices become more pro-cyclical. In short, Japan becomes more like another Asian Emerging Market and driven by the Chinese economy.


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