Those who have been around the foreign exchange trading block for a while will no doubt be aware that the Japanese yen has long since had a reputation for being a rock-solid currency. In recent years, it has developed a reputation for being one of the world’s “safe havens,” a currency that investors turned to whenever the going got tough.
However, there has been a range of upsets in recent months as the currency has reached new lows. This blog post will explore why this has happened and examine what the broader context looks like for the currency.
As any forex trader should know, staying on top of the latest forex news using a reputable site like LeapRate is an excellent idea – not least because it can give you the background to interesting developments like this one, the largely unexpected weakening of the formerly “safe haven” Japanese yen.
The yen has suffered from huge dips recently. Charts show that the yen reached its worst position in 24 years this month. This comes against a complicated backdrop of other problems for the Japanese economy, including the Nikkei stock exchange – which was down by 3% at one stage during the day. The index usually performs better when the yen is struggling due to Japan’s large number of exports. The Japanese government is now being called upon to tighten its monetary policy.
The reasons why
The reasons for this are complex, although one is that competition from other currencies has been high. The US dollar has been surging recently, and some investors have been moving away from the yen to get a slice of greenback action. Interest rates have been hiked up in the US due to various problems, including the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic – with policymakers looking to encourage investors and spenders to behave in certain ways. The knock-on effect for the dollar has been to rise in value.
Another reason for the yen’s problems is that the aforementioned monetary policy in Japan has been loosened to a great degree in recent times. Unlike many other central banks, the Bank of Japan decided in April this year to keep low-interest rates in place. Short-term interest rates in the country still sit at -0.1%, which is almost unheard of elsewhere in the world. That arguably has positive effects in other ways, but it’s not great news for the currency. It even appears that the Bank of Japan may stick to this plan no matter what happens to inflation – news which could fill yen investors with horror.
In sum, the Japanese yen has clearly suffered in recent times. The currency has plummeted to its worst performance in 20 years and has lost out mainly to the US dollar – despite its previous status as a “safe haven.” As this article has shown, there has been a whole host of reasons for this – and investors need to make sure they know the reasons why.