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FirstFT: Japanese yen falls to a 20-year low

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The Japanese yen fell to a new 20-year low against the dollar on Wednesday, pushed down by expectations that the Bank of Japan will defy global trends and keep monetary policy loose.

The yen dropped as much as 1.4 per cent against the US currency, taking it past ¥134 per dollar. It has declined roughly 4 per cent this month and has in recent days neared its weakest level since early 2002.

The move came after the governor of the BoJ said that consumers had become “more tolerant” of price rises, comments that he later retracted. Speaking at the FT’s Global Boardroom event, Haruhiko Kuroda said that a weakening yen would boost the profits of Japanese companies.

In stark contrast to other major central banks, the BoJ has decided against tightening monetary policy in recent months.

“The dollar has seen a meteoric rise versus the Japanese yen over the past three months as the Bank of Japan maintains a dovish policy stance relative to the Federal Reserve,” strategists at Bespoke Investment Group said on Wednesday.

Line chart of ¥ per $ showing The yen hits a new 20-year low

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The day ahead

China trade balance figures Data for May is set to be released today. Earlier this week, data showed that the US trade balance narrowed by the most in more than nine years. The drop in imports is likely, at least in part, caused by lockdowns in China due to Covid-19. (Reuters)

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January 6 committee hearings On Thursday the House committee investigating the January 6, 2021 attack on the Capitol will share what it has learned. Here’s how to watch. (WaPo)

  • Opinion: The spirit of Watergate will be missing from audiences for the televised January 6 hearings, writes Edward Luce.

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Is the global housing market heading for a downturn? Interest rate rises are cooling house price growth in both Europe and the US, but experts cite several reasons for relative optimism. Experts expect rate rises to end the rapid, two-year surge in house prices and price growth to slow down sharply.

A house price growth graphic

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A PS5 console
© Akio Kon/Bloomberg

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