Complaining about the effect of Japan’s monetary easing on the value of the yen is virtually de rigeur among the country’s trading partners. But Chart of the week shows that the most vocal critics of Japan are not necessarily those with the most to shout about. Continue reading »
For the eighth time in 10 months, Peru’s central bank has raised deposit requirements on dollar-denominated accounts to stem the flow of hot money into its fast-growing economy and dampen currency appreciation. Continue reading »
By Daniel Hui of JPMorgan
“It is said that enlightened governments… do not mobilise when there is no advantage, do not act when there is nothing to gain, do not fight when there is no danger.” – Sun Tzu
Markets have been captivated by the prospect and imagery of a “currency war” following Japan’s dramatic shift in monetary policy, and the recent 20 per cent depreciation of the yen. The narrative goes something like this: The sharp devaluation of the Japanese yen will be the casus belli which will provoke retaliatory devaluations by other Asian economies in self-defence.
All very colorful, dramatic and scary, to be sure. But to-date this is purely hypothetical, and likely to remain so. Continue reading »
By Humayun Shahryar of Auvest Capital Management
While the world is focused on the ongoing currency war, not enough attention is being paid to the rise in global protectionism. The number of trade disputes at the World Trade Organization in 2012 is estimated to be more than in 2010 and 2011 combined, with the G20 countries accounting for 80 per cent of the protectionist measures. While the recent stock market rally, resolution of the US fiscal cliff and the perceived easing of the European crisis may have taken attention away from falling global demand and slowing economic growth, a sharp rise in protectionism is on the cards in the coming months as governments react to rising unemployment, growing income inequality and slowing economic growth. Continue reading »
Global squabbles over exchange rates have emerged as a key concern for South Korea, as policy makers struggle to battle strong headwinds from Japan’s expansionary monetary policy.
A Bank of Korea report on Monday showed conflicts over currencies listed for the first time among the top five risks facing the country’s financial system, while concerns about China’s economic hard-landing and a delayed recovery in the US economy have subsided. Continue reading »
What? Hulk no smash currency appreciation?
Just as other countries look like they are relaunching the global currency war – see Japan – it seems like Brazil may be tiring of its long-fought and ultimately unrewarding campaign.
After some inconsistent statements, Brazil’s finance minister, Guido Mantega, signalled on Friday that the government’s attention was swinging back to inflation. Continue reading »
As Philipp Hildebrand explained in Tuesday’s FT, there is no such thing as a global currency war. But – as John Paul Rathbone outlined the next day – that hasn’t prevented the spread of currency fears across Latin America.
Policy makers have faced those fears in different ways. Munir Jalil and Jose Vicente Romero of Citi Research argue that Colombia has turned to some fancy accounting. Continue reading »
How have emerging market currencies fared at the start of the year compared with 2012? Foreign currency investors say that the grip of so-called risk on, risk off trading has faded this year and that fundamental reasons for buying or selling a currency are dominating investment choice.
But the rise of currency wars is also playing a major role in determining which currencies rise or fall, as investors respond to rhetoric from central bankers and place bets on which countries are most likely to take action to weaken their currency this year. Chart of the week takes a closer look. Continue reading »
Trying to understand what Guido Mantega is up to can be exhausting, especially when it comes to his favourite topic: currency wars.
The real weakened early on Wednesday after Brazil’s finance minister warned the government was ready to correct any excessive moves in the exchange rate, adding that a weaker currency makes domestic industry more competitive. Continue reading »
Hot money is known in Latin America as “swallow” capital, like the migratory birds that arrive in the springtime, build a nest and raise their chicks, only to fly away elsewhere with all their brood.
But, rather than swallows, the dollars that have flooded into Costa Rica in recent months have been “real weapons of mass destruction” for the Central American nation’s economy, according to the president, Laura Chinchilla. Continue reading »
Turkey cut interest rates and raised reserve requirements on Tuesday. It looks like a stylish balancing act: cut interest rates to make the lira less attractive, raise reserve requirements to compensate for the associated easing, and with luck you’ll get a weaker currency without stoking inflation. An exemplary piece of currency warfare.
If only things were that simple. Continue reading »
Russia lambasted Japan and other countries this week for deliberately weakening their currencies to gain competitive advantage in global trade. Alexei Ulyukayev, the central bank’s first deputy chairman said: “We’re on a threshold of very serious, confrontational actions in the sphere that is known… as currency wars.”
So how come Russia itself is buying dollars to weaken its own currency? Continue reading »
Readers already know that Brazil is at the helm of the currency war when it comes to Latin America. However, increasingly, Colombia, Peru and even Costa Rica are turning into brothers in arms, determined to ease the appreciation of their own currencies, the peso, the sol and the colón, respectively. Continue reading »
Russia has piled into the latest outbreak of the currency wars, with a top central banker warning of serious consequences of what he said were Japan’s moves to weaken the yen in a bid to boost its stagnant economy.
According to Reuters, Alexei Ulyukayev, the central bank’s first deputy chairman, said on Wednesday: “We’re on a threshold of very serious, confrontational actions in the sphere that is known… as currency wars.”
With Russia holding the G20 presidency this year, these words will resonate, especially as they came only hours after an intervention from South Korea. Continue reading »
The currency war rumbles on. As Bloomberg reports on Wednesday – under the headline “emerging markets backlash” – South Korea wants a meeting of G20 finance ministers and central bank governors in Moscow next month to focus on the adverse affects of easy money in the US, EU and Japan.
Korea has certainly been feeling the heat. The eurozone crisis dampened demand for its exports throughout 2012. Seoul says exports remain under threat from a stronger won and growing protectionism around the world. But will words translate into actions? Continue reading »