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Forex Flash: Yen weakens in anticipation of more aggressive BoJ easing - BTMU

Lee Hardman, FX analyst at the Bank of Tokyo Mitsubishi UFJ notes that the Yen has weakened in the Asian trading session with USD/JPY climbing to within touching distance of the 95.0-level following speculation in the Japanese media over the weekend that ADB President Kuroda is the leading candidate to be the next BoJ Governor.

He sees that it has also been speculated that the Japanese government is lining up academic Kikuo Iwata and BoJ Executive Director Hiroshi Nakaso as the two new Deputy Governors. He writes, “According to the reports, the government will present the candidates to the Diet in the middle of this week. The Nikkei newspaper has also speculated that the Japanese government is considering Vice Finance Minister Nakao as a successor to ADP President Kuroda.”

Hardman comments that both the ADP Kuroda and academic Iwata are well known for advocating that the BoJ adopt more aggressive monetary easing in an attempt to defeat deflation and ADP President Kuroda has already stated in early February that “some additional” easing measures can be justified in 2013 with Japan having “really substantial room for monetary easing”. In that quote Kuroda was referring to the Yen currently being in a “natural adjustment” phase from an “excessively high rate to a more sustainable level”

However, Hardman notes that Kuroda has not specified a desirable level for the yen. He writes, “In December 2002 as Vice Finance Minister Kuroda stated that the BoJ should aim to push up prices by 3.0%, although more recently he has stated that the BoJ’s new 2.0% inflation target is “appropriate”. The speculated appointments are likely to lead to a continuation of the ongoing BoJ shift to more aggressive monetary easing ahead which is weighing upon the yen through lowering real yields.”

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