Yen's Path of Least Resistance

by Ashraf Laidi
Oct 24, 2008 12:29 | 15 Comments

Sterling collapses by over 800 points (8 cents) to $1.5260, posting its biggest intraday decline since exchange rates became freely floated in 1971, reinforced by a bigger than expected 0.5% q/q decline in UK Q3 GDP, and a 0.3% y/y rise, versus expectations of a 0.2% q/q decline and below expectations. EURs decline vs USD is not as pronounced as GBP, hence the prolonged spike in EURGBP to a 2-month high of 81.00 pence from Wednesdays 77.5 pence. World equity markets are in virtual free fall, with trading on S&P500 mini contracts suspended for reaching limit down. Capital Flight into the Yen the Path of Least Resistance, as the currency highlights its outperformance across the board, damaging the dollar by 7 yen a 13-year low of 91.10 yen. US Treasuries are also rallying at their strongest in 13 years. European markets drop by over 10%. Such historical market moves are the only the result of imploding hedge funds leading to massive liquidations. Major interventions from authorities must be expected at start of trading on US Friday trading. Central bank rate cuts are not ruled out today. The monthly USDJPY below above shows that cyclical lows have been reached at 5-year intervals (April 1995 at 79.70, January 2000 at 101.25 and 101.65 at January 2005), with each of these lows coinciding with interest rate hikes by the Federal Reserve. This supports our hypothesis -first presented in March 18, 2008 - that the next Fed hike will not take place until 2010, thus, coinciding with the expected low in USDJPY. It is also in line with our firm position against prevailing market expectations last summer for a Fed rate hike this fall. This suggests that further selling remains ahead into the next 10-12 months, with declines outstripping the gains, especially as the bear market in equities is expected to prolong into its average duration of 2-3 years. This makes 79-80 yen our projected low for 2010.

Yen's Path of Least Resistance - Jpymnthlyoct08 (Chart 1)

The Swiss franc attempts to join the yen as a safe haven low yielder, dragging USD from over 1.17 to 1.15. One reason CHF has not fulfilled its role of rallying during recent bouts of rising risk aversion is fears about Switzerland's overall exposure to Continental Europe's banking crisis/recession. Note how EURCHF plunges to 7-year low at 1.44, reflecting Franc strength. But we still expect USDCHF attempting 1.1950-1.20 over next 2 weeks.

Golds slumps to 14-month lows at $696 per ounce as commodity currencies are crushed by the unwinding in high yielding currencies. Unlike in mid September when gold rallied by over $100 on the collapse of Lehman Brothers, the current market meltdown is a result of a global recession/slowdown and not a US-specific issue problem. This is further fuelling the dollar against non-JPY currencies on unwinding, moves to cash from emerging market paper. Any news reporting of an implosion of a US-based hedge fund or further troubles in US banks is expected to support gold at the expense of the dollar.

For more detailed analysis on using USDJPY cycles in anticipating the Fed's interest rate shifts, visit Chapters 6 and 9 of my book.

Comments (Showing latest 10 of 15) View All Comments
Posted Anonymously
9 years ago
Nov 4, 2010 1:47
Vasya
Buburatcho, Wallis Futana Is
Posted Anonymously
9 years ago
Jul 17, 2010 0:13
"Golds slumps to 14-month lows at $696 per ounce"

I've been fallowing your absurd predictions, obviously most of the time

you have no idea, what you are talking about..

So you are saying USDJPY going to 80??? Are you the one who was talking

about EURUSD below parity just few weeks ago? Silver going to $8? I know, thanks

for the gift :)..
GTNew
Arizona, United States
Posts: 33
10 years ago
Aug 31, 2009 5:10
Thx, Ashraf, 148 is close enough.
Ashraf Laidi
London, UK
Posts: 0
10 years ago
Aug 31, 2009 5:08
wolf, justin, DPJ economic offcials (before todays victory) have already spoken against intervention

Ashraf
Justin Lee
HK, Hong Kong
Posts: 16
10 years ago
Aug 31, 2009 4:44
From my point of view, BoJ will be unlikely to intervene. Since Jun 2004, the central bank hadn't intervene the fx market even USD/JPY hit 87 level in Jan this year. Besides, the new government will mainly focus on household rather than corporate; thus, the JPY apprecation might not trigger the concern as much as LDP.

91.73 seems to be the next target.

I love Ashraf Laidi's idea of JPY appecication in Aug for the past 11 years (except 06 and 08), and USD/JPY usually hit the top at the beginning of each month since Apri.
Forexwolf
Auckland, New Zealand
Posts: 39
10 years ago
Aug 31, 2009 4:29
Hi Ashraf. The questions now is, Will the BOJ intervene to weaken the JPY?
Ashraf Laidi
London, UK
Posts: 0
10 years ago
Aug 31, 2009 4:09
GT, im looking for 148

Ashraf
GTNew
Arizona, United States
Posts: 33
10 years ago
Aug 31, 2009 3:49
$GBPJPY - I'm thinking if it can break below 150.50, it could test the lows near 147. Could you please give me your take. Thx.
Clarke
New York, United States
Posted Anonymously
11 years ago
Jan 23, 2009 15:00
Hi Ashraf,

This is a great article. I have a question on similar lines. Do you see the USD strengthening further against the INR (india) in near future? The current excahnge rate is 1USD = 49 INR. Thanks
Ashraf Laidi
London, UK
Posts: 0
11 years ago
Oct 26, 2008 22:40
Kristine, Ill post monthly charts of the majors in the coming days. If anyone has any other requests or preferences please post them here or email me at ashraf@ashraflaidi.com


Ashraf