The Chart du Jour

Sometimes News Matters, But...

Aug 10,2000

By, Barclay T. Leib

Anyone with any financial savvy knows that an important central bank decision looms Friday: Will the BOJ raise interest rates away from the zero level or not? If they do, some warn of a derailed recovery in that country. If they don't, the chances of long-term debt monetization in Japan creeps just a touch higher. Certainly, the JGB market itself has been "coiling" for multiple months, and some resolution to that chart --up or down -- appears imminent.

Chart produced using Advanced GET End-of-Day

But sometimes no matter what news may hit in Japanese interest rates, the net result for the currency could be the same: the yen should weaken.

No rate hike, and the natural reaction by the market will be to sell the yen, buy dollars: an enticement both to onshore and offshore investors alike to play the long-dollar carry game for a bit longer and for increased amounts from these levels.

Raise rates in Japan and despite any ultra-short term jump in the yen's value (as seen on the mere talk of a rate hike in the last few days that took USD/JPY temporarily down to 107.50), such knee-jerk moves will be unsustainable. Higher short term rates in Japan effectively would put the first dent in the Japanese steep yield curve JGB carry game, sending more money scurrying outside of Japan into other assets once again.

Chart produced using Advanced GET End-of-Day
Sometimes news matters, but sometimes it's just the excuse -- the catalyst, if you will -- for a market to do what it wants to do anyway. In this case the dollar wants to go higher (yen lower) whatever the news the BOJ delivers.

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