Yen soars as US dollar declines

The Japanese yen soared this week, following a surprise decision by the country not to introduce further stimulus.

The general expectation was that the Bank of Japan would announce additional easing measures, but the BoJ decided to keep its monetary policy the same, upsetting those who had bet on further stimulus. As a result, the yen rose against all of the other major currencies.

“The failure to act is triggering a further loss of investor confidence in Abenomics and unwinding of yen weakness,” Lee Hardman, a foreign-exchange strategist at Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ Ltd., told Bloomberg. “The BOJ had an opportunity to at least temporarily short-circuit the yen trend but failed to act – it has provided the green light for further yen strength in the near-term.”

The yen rose 2.6 cent on Thursday morning in New York against the dollar to 108.11 per dollar. While the Bank of Japan elected to step back and analyse the impact of its negative interest rates, though, America’s Federal Reserve has proven equally dovish in 2016 – after deciding to raise its base rate at the end of 2015, the Fed has since ruled out any further rate increases in the near future. As a result, sentiment declined for the US dollar once again, with the currency’s exchange rate again the yen almost seeing its biggest drop since 2010.

Overall, notes the Globe and Mail, the yen is up 4 per cent against the dollar this week, which ranks among its best weeks in the last 16 years and a record post-recession record high. The dollar, meanwhile, fell 0.4 per cent on Friday, taking it towards its third monthly drop in a row.

“The decline in U.S. yields leaves the dollar vulnerable and we remain long euro/dollar, looking for the pair to reach $1.16 in the next two months,” BNP Paribas currency strategists said on Friday.