AUD / JPY – In Focus

This last week of the month is slightly quieter on the economic-front than the weeks preceding, with the majority of Australian focused data being mid-low tiered in importance.

What we could see this week is the squaring-off of books for the end of the month and positioning for the first week of June. The first week of June delivering Australian building approvals, Chinese manufacturing, AUD retail sales, the RBA policy announcement and we’re only halfway through Tuesday.

The economic data will continue to run thick throughout next week from across the globe topping it off with Non-farm payroll data from the US on Friday evening. Suffice to say if we see a lack of volatility this week don’t get too comfortable.

Japanese releases have made headlines of late beating estimates and showing greatly positive improvements from where the Japanese economy was heading. Recently Japanese GDP growth smashed estimates at 5.9% annualised and last week showed increases in both imports and exports. The Bank of Japan (BOJ) Governor Kuroda, is the original Quantitative Easing (QE) guru and has a history with the monetary policy, recently adopted by the US & UK, back to the mid-90s.

Kuroda was elected as the Central Bank Governor due to his history with QE policy and a governmental push to trying to drag Japan away from deflation, with inflation rates close to zero in 2011-12. The solution, weaken the yen by any means possible. Kuroda let the market know that he would do what is necessary to increase Japan’s inflation rate to 2%. After election in Feb 2013 Kuroda increased Japan’s QE efforts to outweigh that of the States, in turn sending the Yen tumbling, declining approximately 30% against most crosses over a 6-month period.

Kuroda has stated that Japan is on track to meet this 2% inflation target after inflation has moved to 1.3%, but if necessary still has a few tricks left up his sleeve. This may be so, but also worth considering is that Japan is the 3rd largest economy in the world and holds some of the world’s largest off-shore investments. With improvements in the domestic economy and the Yen close to multi-year lows, Japanese businesses may see value to repatriate funds and invest domestically. This in turn could see some serious capital flows back into Yen. If the BOJ has achieved its inflation target the Yen may be allowed to move organically with less BOJ influence.

Inflation data is due from Japan this Friday at 9.30 am AEST. Expectations are to increase to 3.1% from 1.3% annualised.

Jeremy Brownjohn