Why Japan Has Not Intervened Yet to Support the Yen

The yen’s slide to fresh 38-year lows has been catching the attention of market participants, who are on high alert for potential intervention from Japanese authorities, similar to what occurred in March. However, several factors may be contributing to their current restraint.

One significant factor influencing the yen’s depreciation is the monetary policy divergence between the U.S. and Japan. The Bank of Japan (BOJ) has been gradually raising rates from near zero, while the Federal Reserve in the U.S. is poised to cut rates. As the interest rate spread between the two countries narrows, the depreciation of the yen could potentially be halted, if not reversed. Despite this, the BOJ’s cautious approach to rate hikes, aimed at supporting economic growth, may limit any significant impact on the yen’s depreciation.

Related:  America's economic recovery plan may have detrimental effects on the global economy

Another factor to consider is the popularity of carry trades involving the yen. The low interest rates in Japan make the yen an attractive currency for carry trades, where investors borrow in a low-yield currency to invest in higher-yield assets. Yen-funded carry trades, such as investing in U.S. Treasuries, offer substantial returns, which can be difficult for Japan to counter.

Additionally, the strength of the U.S. dollar, supported by a robust economy, presents challenges for currency intervention. Positive economic data from the U.S. consistently reinforces the dollar’s strength, creating an environment where the risk of further appreciation is ever-present.

Despite the persistent weakness of the yen being unpopular with the Japanese public, the current environment of record-high stock prices and strong wage growth may mitigate some of the negative impacts. However, the possibility of intervention may increase as Japan’s ruling party’s internal leadership election approaches.

Related:  Exxon CEO Takes a Stance as Investor Interest in ESG Declines

While Japan has the financial firepower to intervene in the currency markets, past interventions have had limited impact. Officials have warned of their readiness to act, but for now, verbal interventions have kept the yen’s movements relatively stable.

In conclusion, the dynamics of interest rate differentials, carry trades, the strength of the U.S. dollar, and domestic economic factors all play a role in the yen’s depreciation. While the potential for intervention exists, the effectiveness and implications of such actions remain uncertain. Extreme Investor Network provides unique insights and analysis on the complex interplay of these factors in the global financial markets to help investors make informed decisions.