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Alternative Market Briefing

Hedge funds, speculators trim bearish wagers on Japanese yen

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Komfie Manalo, Opalesque Asia:

Hedge funds and speculators trimmed their bearish wagers on the Japanese yen as they lost confidence Japan central bank Governor Haruhiko Kuroda can keep depreciating the currency to boost growth and taper inflation.

According to Business Week, wagers on Japanese yen by hedge funds and speculators dropped by more than 60% since its peak in December. Since the start of 2014, the Japanese currency rose 3.6% compared to its developed-nation counterparts, the biggest gain recorded in Bloomberg Correlation-Weighted Indexes and a reversal from last year when it dropped the highest in 30 years.

Naoki Iwami, the chief investment officer at Tokyo-based hedge fund Whiz Partners Inc., was quoted by Business Week as saying, "Unless Japan comes up with specific measures to prove it will do whatever is necessary to exit deflation, itís hard for hedge funds to jump on the weak-yen bandwagon. Thereís a big difference in the momentum this year compared to 2013."

Kuroda is being criticized for missing an opportunity to raise BOJís 60tln yen ($586bn) to 70tln yen of monthly bond purchases, which could drive investorsí money offshore. Early this month Kuroda said he would not hesitate to further easy monetary policies to meet Japanís 2% inflation target by 2015.

But Iwami is predicting the yen to hold on to 100 to ......................

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