Stocks & Commodities V. 24:6 (16-18): Forex Focus by Darrel Jobman
Access to foreign exchange trading has opened up exciting trading options for the retail trader. You can now trade alongside corporations and institutions in a highly liquid market that is global, traded around the clock, and highly leveraged. Before jumping into this market, however, we must understand the factors that affect the forex market. With that in mind, STOCKS & COMMODITIES has introduced Forex Focus to better prepare the retail trader to participate in the currency market.
Q: Is the yen really turning around?
A: Over the last five years, the Bank of Japan has been engaged in a prolonged battle to combat deflation in the Japanese economy to bring conditions back to “normal.” The central bank already cut interest rates to zero in 2001 but took the additional step of flooding the market with excess liquidity. The bank adopted a quantitative policy with a target of 30-35 trillion yen for current account deposits held by the commercial banks.
A second element of the policy was to intervene aggressively to prevent yen strength, as a stronger currency would have put further downward pressure on domestic consumer prices. The Japanese central bank, under the direction of the Finance Ministry, intervened heavily to prevent yen gains through the 100 level against the US dollar in the first quarter of 2005, although there has been no need to step in over the
last 12 months, given the general dollar gains.