December 24th 2008
Japan: Intervention Unlikely
If ever there was a case for Japanese intervention in forex markets, it is now. The Yen has emerged as the unquestionable victor from the credit crisis, having appreciated against every major currency and notching a 13-year high against the Dollar. Japanese exports have plunged, inducing the country's first monthly trade deficit in almost three decades. Meanwhile, corporate profits are sagging as a result of forex conversion losses, and the unemployment rate could soon set a new record. Notwithstanding comments to the contrary by a high-ranking official, however, the Central bank of Japan is perhaps unlikely to intervene on behalf of the Yen, if only for political reasons. The G7 countries, namely the US, have urged Japan to allow the market to run its course, as it hopes the weaker Yen can help restore some of America's export competitiveness. The Asia Times reports:
Japan will be criticized internationally, especially by the US, the country's strongest ally, if it acts to stem the currency's gain as US automakers are still on the brink of bankruptcy. The stronger yen drives up the price of cars imported to the US.
Read More: Japan to live with yen burden