The Bank of Japan (BOJ) is considering raising interest rates, which would cease the bank’s lengthy dovish policy promoted by the previous governor, Haruhiko Kuroda. The reports of a potential rate hike boded well for the Japanese yen (JPY) and bond yields, boosting the former against the US dollar on Monday.
The End of ‘Abenomics?’
The Japanese Yen and bond yields edged higher on Monday after the country’s central bank governor, Kazuo Ueda, hinted at a potential major shift in monetary policy that could end its years-long ultra-dovish stance.
Notably, the BOJ policymakers are increasingly emphasizing the need to rotate away from the significant monetary stimulus that defined the bank’s monetary policy over the past decade amid mounting global economic risks. According to analysts, price pressures have been on the rise as BOJ continues its battle against deflation, urging policymakers to reconsider their approach.
Japan’s super-easy monetary policy, often referred to as “Abenomics,” was spearheaded by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his economic advisor, Haruhiko Kuroda, who became the Governor of the Bank of Japan in 2013. This approach aimed to combat deflation and stimulate economic growth by implementing massive quantitative and qualitative monetary easing, including negative interest rates and extensive asset purchases. This approach aimed to increase the money supply and lower borrowing costs, which weakened the yen’s value and boosted exports.
But now, even most dovish BOJ policymakers have voiced their willingness to discuss a potential policy shift, acknowledging that tweaks in conditions may warrant a change in monetary settings. Over the weekend, BOJ governor Ueda told a news publication that the bank could accumulate enough data by the end of 2023 to conclude whether there are sufficient conditions to hike short-term interest rates.
Japanese Yen Gains Ground Against US Dollar
The reports about a possible policy switch boosted the Japanese yen against the US dollar, with the greenback falling by nearly 1% to 146.5 against its Asian counterpart.
The USD/JPY pair has now slipped over 150 pips from its highest level since November 2022. The Japanese currency also strengthened against all Group-of-10 currencies in Ueda’s latest remarks.
Meanwhile, Japan’s 10-year government bond yield surged to 0.705%, its highest level in nearly a decade, as hopes for a long-awaited rate hike by the BOJ intensified. However, it’s important to note that even with this increase, Japanese bond yields remain significantly lower than their US and UK counterparts, which offer yields exceeding 4%.
This article originally appeared on The Tokenist
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