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February 2019
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South China Morning Post (July 6)

2018/ 07/ 08 by jd in Global News

As the U.S. and China begin to “spar over trade, Japan may avoid a direct hit – for now.” While the first round of tariffs is “expected to have limited impact,” the dispute “could lead to further appreciation of yen and punitive duties on Japanese cars” if it continues to spiral out of control.


Bloomberg (August 14)

2017/ 08/ 16 by jd in Global News

“The last time Japan strung together this many quarters of growth was back in mid-2006…. The yen has fallen, corporate profits have soared and the economy is running above its potential growth rate. Yet inflation remains stubbornly low, despite massive monetary stimulus from the central bank. Economists are watching intently for signs that the tightest labor market in decades is beginning to bring wage gains.”


Financial Times (March 14)

2017/ 03/ 15 by jd in Global News

The Japanese stock market resembles “the ghost ship Mary Celeste.” Strewn around the decks are signs that the ship should be hopping with activity: the Topix index at a 14-month high, identifiable value stocks in abundance, a comfortably-positioned yen, fresh legalisation of casinos in the bag and a run of record share buybacks…. And yet there is silence.” Volumes have been low during the last three weeks and “overseas investors have been net sellers…with up to Y78bn leaving the index.” This suggests little wind remains in the Abenomics sails and, quite possibly, that traders are cautious ahead of developments from the Federal Reserve and Donald Trump. But it could also mean that overseas investors have written “Japan off as a credible, reform-minded play on global growth and domestic reflation.”


Financial Times (November 8)

2016/ 11/ 09 by jd in Global News

Stung by the strong yen, over 100 TOPIX-listed manufacturers have issued profit warnings. Conventional cost cutting is no longer doing the trick. “After decades of building plants overseas and trying to make production leaner and more efficient to address the currency vulnerability, analysts say Japanese companies are facing a sobering reality: the urgency to sell underperforming businesses and join hands with rivals to survive brutal market conditions.”


Bloomberg (October 5)

2016/ 10/ 06 by jd in Global News

“Even though polls show a receding chance of Donald Trump becoming U.S. president, money managers wary of public opinion being proved wrong are increasingly looking toward Japan for an ideal hedge.” If Trump somehow pulls off a victory, it “could send cash flooding into the yen, which acts as a haven.”


Financial Times (June 30)

2016/ 07/ 01 by jd in Global News

“The UK’s decision to leave the EU will not have any immediate, direct negative consequences for the ratings of states and major banks across Asia Pacific,” according to Fitch Ratings who also warned that “Japan could prove the exception…given the yen’s haven status and resultant strengthening posing a risk to policymakers’ planning.”


Bloomberg (June 20)

2016/ 06/ 20 by jd in Global News

“Brexit stresses are seeping into virtually every corner of the global foreign-exchange market. Of 16 major currencies tracked by Bloomberg, all but three have seen a jump in the cost to hedge against big declines.” The Japanese yen Brazilian real and Swiss frank are the three exceptions.


Bloomberg (April 11)

2016/ 04/ 12 by jd in Global News

“For global equity investors and Shinzo Abe, it’s splitsville.” For 13 straight weeks during 2016, “foreign traders have been pulling out of Tokyo’s stock market.” They’ve dumped “$46 billion of shares as economic reports deteriorated, stimulus from the Bank of Japan backfired and the yen’s surge pressured exporters. The benchmark Topix index is down 18 percent in 2016, the world’s steepest declines behind Italy.”


Bloomberg (February 12)

2016/ 02/ 14 by jd in Global News

The Bank of Japan’s “decision to adopt negative interest rates has failed to rein in the currency’s advance.” In part, this is because money managers are advising wealthy families to favor the yen amid the turmoil in global financial markets. As a result, the yen is outperforming “all 31 other major currencies this year as Japan’s current-account surplus makes it attractive for investors seeking a haven.


The Economist (January 9)

2016/ 01/ 10 by jd in Global News

“Japan is the best example” of how currency devaluations no longer seem to provide economies with much of a boost. “The yen has been depreciating rapidly. A Big Mac was 20% cheaper in Japan than in America in 2013; now it is 37% cheaper. Yet export volumes have barely budged…. This is a surprise: the IMF calculates that Japanese exports are around 20% lower than it would have expected, given how the yen has weakened.”


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