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Forex Flash: USD/JPY rises back towards 100 level - BTMU

FXstreet.com (Barcelona) - Lee Hardman, FX analyst at the Bank of Tokyo Mitsubishi UFJ notes that the yen has continued to weaken in the Asian trading session with USD/JPY rising back to within touching distance of the 100.00-level.

He sees that Yen selling has regained momentum after the passing of the G20 meeting late last week, at which the international community accepted the recent monetary policy actions undertaken by the new BoJ leadership. He adds that Finance Minister Aso stated that Japan’s policies have won the G20’s understanding with yen weakness resulting from policy aimed at defeating deflation and supporting domestic demand acceptable.

However, Hardman comments that the G20 did advise that the Japanese government should craft a medium-term plan to get their fiscal affairs in order, while heightening their commitment to being “mindful of the unintended negative side effects stemming from extended periods of monetary easing” although not specifically referring to BoJ policy alone. He writes, “It was also notable that BoJ Governor Kuroda stated that “winning international understanding gives me more confidence to conduct monetary policy appropriately”, reiterating that “we will continue qualitative and quantitative easing for the next two years”. “

He notes that Yen selling has also been encouraged by comments overnight from Japanese life insurance companies revealing that they are reducing currency hedges on international exposure. Asahi Mutual Life revealed that they lowered their foreign currency hedge ratio to 90% at the end of March from 100% at the end of September 2012, and are considering buying up to JPY50 billion of foreign bonds. Further, Taiyo Life has also revealed that they have decreased their hedge ratio to 60- 65% from 75-80% a year earlier although their plans only see a small increase in foreign bond purchases. He writes “We continue to expect only a gradual shift towards greater foreign asset exposure.”

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