Strong yen ‘not at heart’ of the problem for Japan

15th September 2010

Japan's leading shares rose as much as 3% after authorities intervened in the currency markets to weaken the value of the yen against the dollar.

As the BBC reports , It is the first time in six years that the Bank of Japan has intervened, and further action has not been ruled out.

However, it is not clear that the strong yen is at the heart of the problem for Japan, according to John Stewart, Head of Japanese Equities at Gartmore.

As Stewart says, the rally in yen is ironic given Japan's sovereign debt problems. "It was only a few months ago when the perceived wisdom was that the yen would weaken as investors fled Japanese assets fearing the country's fiscal position was unsustainable. 

"The current reality, however, is that investor expectations are very low, and for the moment at least, companies are coping better than expected in the current uncertain macro environment; [the] yen's strength in particular."

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