Thursday, April 18, 2013

Japan rewarded for launching the currency war

Japan's "Merchandise Trade" exports surprised to the upside this morning. All of a sudden Japan's export activity is picking up steam.

Source: Econoday
CNN: - Japan has posted its narrowest trade deficit for nine months, helped by a big rise in the value of shipments to the US, which has toppled China as Japan's number one export destination.

Provisional figures released on Thursday by Japan's finance ministry showed that overall exports rose 1.1 per cent in March from a year earlier to Y6.3tn ($64bn)...
Very little has changed over the past few months in Japan's product and service offerings or in the way the nation's companies market their products. The yen however is down nearly 14% against the dollar this year alone. And in this price sensitive global economy 14% makes a great deal of difference. It didn't take long for Japan to be rewarded for its currency devaluation policy.

Moreover, it is clear from the nation's stock market performance relative to global equity markets (chart below) that currency wars can be quite effective and profitable if aggressively executed. Other nations (particularly in the region) are clearly watching and are likely to "retaliate" by devaluing their own currencies.

Source: Ycharts (click to expand)
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