Can Japan Compete at Current Yen Levels? It’s Quite Plausible.

September 13, 2010

An article in today’s Financial Times by Mure Dickie and Lindsay Whipp questions whether yen intervention would be effective, let alone appropriate.  Japanese exporters increasingly complain that it has become difficult to make a profit at present yen levels.  At last week’s highs, the yen equaled 83.35 per dollar, 49.0% stronger than a low of […] More

Japanese 2Q Real GDP Growth Revised Up to 1.5% Annualized from 0.4%

September 9, 2010

Japanese growth last quarter wasn’t as bad as reported initially but still represented a significant deceleration of activity.  Real GDP rose 1.5% at an annualized rate (saar), down from 5.0% in the first quarter and 3.4% in the final quarter of 2009.  Notable revisions occurred in non-residential investment to 6.2% saar from 1.9% reported initially, […] More

Festering Concern about Euroland Peripherals

September 8, 2010

Stocks in Germany, France and Great Britain have traded 0.6% lower.  Earlier, equities fell by 2.2% in Japan, 1.5% in Hong Kong, 0.8% in Australia, 0.5% in South Korea and 0.4% in Taiwan and New Zealand. The euro recouped 0.2% against the dollar despite provocative warnings from German Chancellor Merkel about her country’s limited patience […] More

Stocks Closing Out a Bad Month on a Weakening Note

August 31, 2010

Japan’s Nikkei tumbled 3.6%, extending August’s loss to 7.5% and the decline since April 26 to 21%.  Stocks also fell 1.0% in Hong Kong and South Korea, 1.6% in Taiwan, 1.1% in Australia, and 0.6% in India.  In Europe, the Paris Cac and British Ftse are down 0.9%, and the German Dax has lost 0.7%. […] More

Bank of Japan Expands Liquidity-Enhancing Facility to Encourage Bank Lending

August 30, 2010

An unscheduled three-hour policy meeting was most noteworthy for actions not taken.  A statement released by the Policy Board noted recently unstable currency and equity markets but said nothing about planned currency intervention or steps explicitly aimed at the stock market.  Nor did officials change the key interest rate of 0.1% since December 2008 or […] More

Markets Focused on Jackson Hole

August 27, 2010

Currencies are marking time ahead of Fed Chairman’s 10:00 EDT address at the Jackson Hole Symposium.  The dollar is unchanged against the euro and up 0.1% relative to sterling, the Canadian dollar and the Swiss franc.  The yen settled back 0.4% but remains pricey at 84.7 per dollar.  The greenback slid 0.3% against the kiwi […] More

Now and Yen

August 26, 2010

Official concern about yen strength is palpable and mounting by the day.  Not since the last intervention in March 2004 has the possibility of government sales of yen been considered so carefully and so publicly.  This week the yen touched a record high of 105.44 per euro, and the currency’s high of 83.59 per dollar […] More

Japanese and U.S. Government Bond Yields

August 17, 2010

Japan provides a good example of what happens to long-term interest rates when very low inflation or outright deflation occur. The ten-year JGB yield has averaged 1.45% since the end of 1997.  Such dropped below unity recently and is presently at 0.95%.  The yield first plumbed below 1.0% in 1998 during the Asian debt crisis, […] More

Dollar Slips Against Yen, Euro, and Swiss Franc

August 16, 2010

The dollar lost 1.3% against the Swissy, 0.7% relative to the yen and 0.5% versus the euro.  The greenback is steady against the Canadian dollar and sterling but up by 0.5% against the kiwi, 0.2% against the Australian dollar and 0.1% versus the Chinese yuan, which has retreated past 6.8000 per dollar. Market chatter about […] More

Japanese GDP Flopped

August 15, 2010

After suspiciously robust annualized growth of 4.1% in 4Q09 and 4.4% in 1Q10, Japanese growth virtually stalled last quarter, edging just 0.4% above the first-quarter level.  Growth in the major advanced economies was extremely diverse in the second quarter.  Japan did the worst, the aforementioned 0.4%.  Then came the United States with a 2.4% annualized […] More