For all the headlines on the Bank of Japan easing its cap on bond yields, the bigger shock for Anna Stupnytska was its inflation forecast for next year.
(Bloomberg) — For all the headlines on the Bank of Japan easing its cap on bond yields, the bigger shock for Anna Stupnytska was its inflation forecast for next year.
The global macro economist at Fidelity International says the central bank’s lower projection for inflation shows that policymakers haven’t changed their bias toward ultra-easy monetary policy.
“We read it as actually quite dovish,” Stupnytska said. “They’re definitely not ready to do anything on rates.”
The yen erased earlier gains and dropped 1% against the US dollar Friday, after the Bank of Japan loosened its control of the yield curve and updated a forecast to predict inflation would be below target in the next fiscal year.
Fidelity is underweight Japanese government bonds, preferring US Treasuries, “because the risks are skewed to higher yields” in Japan, Stupnytska said.
Stupnytska said the inflation forecast change was the big news.
“On the one hand they introduced this tweak, obviously just a step towards some further flexibility in YCC, but on the other hand, which I think was the biggest surprise to me, they downgrade the inflation forecast,” Stupnytska said.
The Bank of Japan have kept markets guessing this year on the timing of further changes to the YCC. A report on Thursday saying policymakers planned to discuss the tweak first boosted the yen, while Friday’s decision ultimately left the currency reversing gains.
The BOJ maintained its target for 10-year yields at around 0% but said its 0.5% ceiling was now a reference point, not a rigid limit as it sought to make its ultra-loose monetary policy program more flexible. Its dovish stance has made it an outlier among major central banks.
UBS strategists have also called Governor Kazuo Ueda’s messaging “remarkably dovish” and they now see the yen reaching 130 against the dollar by the end of the year, while their previous forecast had expected a stronger yen at 120. The Japanese currency climbed 1% to 140.89 against the dollar Friday.
More stories like this are available on bloomberg.com
©2023 Bloomberg L.P.