The yen dropped and shares trimmed losses after the Bank of Japan kept its ultra-loose monetary policy unchanged, removing any immediate risk of a surprise pivot that would trigger a rally in the currency.
(Bloomberg) — The yen dropped and shares trimmed losses after the Bank of Japan kept its ultra-loose monetary policy unchanged, removing any immediate risk of a surprise pivot that would trigger a rally in the currency.
The Japanese currency fell as much as 0.5% to 148.26 per dollar, after reaching an almost 11-month low of 148.46 on Thursday. Yields on benchmark 10-year government bonds stayed lower at 0.74%, while the Topix share gauge trimmed losses to 0.2%.
The BOJ also maintained a pledge to add to its stimulus without hesitation if needed, a vow that offers yen bears a reason to keep betting against it. The next focus will be Governor Kazuo Ueda’s news conference starting at 3:30 p.m. Tokyo, where he may elaborate on his outlook for monetary policy.
The yen has faced pressure to weaken due to a widening yield gap with the US, where the Treasury 10-year rate touched its highest level since 2007 at 4.5% on Friday on bets that interest rates in the world’s biggest economy will be kept higher for longer. But Japanese yields have climbed too in line with moves in overseas debt as well as on growing speculation the BOJ will tweak its policy framework again after making yield-curve control more flexible in July.
Governor Ueda stoked such speculation after the Yomiuri newspaper quoted him as saying if the central bank becomes confident prices and wages will keep going up sustainably, ending negative interest rates is among the options available. BOJ officials, however, see a discrepancy between what Ueda said and how traders interpreted the remarks, people familiar with the matter said last week.
Policymakers in Japan warned, meantime, that they are ready to step into the currency market if needed to slow the yen’s weakening. Finance Minister Shunichi Suzuki said on Friday morning that intervention can stabilize movements in foreign exchange.
(Updates yen and bond yield levels.)
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