Japan May final machine tool orders -52.8% vs -52.8% y/y prelim

Latest data released by the Japanese Machine Tool Orders Builder’s Association

Slight delay in the release by the source. The preliminary release can be found here. No changes to the initial estimate as the annual decline in new factory orders in Japan during the month of May slips to its weakest level since September 2009.

Reminder: The BOJ will be holding an emergency policy meeting tomorrow

The meeting will begin at 0000 GMT

  • BOJ calls for unscheduled monetary policy meeting on 22 May
The central bank is likely to announce a new scheme to facilitate funding for banks to extend to small businesses that have been hit by the fallout from the coronavirus outbreak.
In short, it is yet another measure to bolster liquidity conditions in the financial system, in order to ease corporate funding strains.
I don’t believe that the Kuroda & co. will offer any surprises beyond that, so expect other monetary policy tools to remain unchanged. They will likely just use the meeting to communicate the details of the new scheme if anything else.
As for the impact on the yen, I would argue that this should not play too significant of a role as the central bank has played it down and Kuroda has made mention to this in the past.
For USD/JPY, continue to keep an eye on the elusive 108.00 handle in any case.

BOJ calls for unscheduled monetary policy meeting on 22 May

BOJ to hold an unscheduled monetary policy meeting this week

The meeting will take place at 0000 GMT on 22 May (this Friday). The BOJ says that the meeting is to discuss new measures to provide funds to financial institutions, following up on instructions by governor Kuroda from the 27 April meeting.

Their next policy meeting was supposed to be on 16 June but Kuroda had already hinted that they were looking to do something like this before that meeting here.
So, this is merely to follow up on that as they will introduce a funding scheme to aid the financial system and inject more liquidity. But the sudden call here isn’t going to be all too comforting and it’ll prompt questions on if there are any banks in trouble.

Reuters Tankan – Japan manufacturers sentiment index -6 (unchanged from December)

The monthly Reuters Tankan is more timely than the quarterly report of the same name from the BOJ.

  • January manufacturers’ sentiment index comes in at -6 (unchanged from Dec)
  • Service-sector index +14 in January vs. flat vs Dec
  •  Manufacturers’ mood seen up ahead, service sector down
Pessimism amongst Japanese manufacturers persisted in January, usual suspects cited:
  • China-U.S. trade tension
  • sluggish global demand
Looking ahead though,  some believed conditions will improve in the next few months
  • seen to 0 in April
Service-sector outlook sees 13 in April (slight fall)

BOJ quarterly Tankan report out now – manufacturing mood worsens

Bank of Japan survey is of manufacturing and service companies designed to assess business conditions in Japan

The main Q4 results:
Large Manufacturing Index: 0
  • est 4, prev 5
Large Non-Manufacturing Index 20, improving!
  • est 16, prev 21
Large Manufacturing Outlook 0
  • est 3, prev 2
Large Non-Manufacturing Outlook 18
  • est 16, prev 15

Next week brings the FOMC and BOJ meetings – forecast range for USD/JPY

A note via MUFG on the yen for the week ahead, analysts looking for 107/111 for USD/JPY.

On the Federal Open Market Committee meeting:
  • USD/JPY has already priced in a rate cut by the FOMC to some degree, so would not react much to a cut. If the Fed does defer on cutting rates, then the initial reaction would likely be USD buying, but stock price weakness would likely cap a rise by USD/JPY
And, on the Bank of Japan:
  • BoJ will maintain current monetary policy
  • BoJ Governor Kuroda commented in an interview that he expects a rate cut, so if the BoJ stands firm on policy, JPY may strengthen slightly but probably not continue. But if the BoJ does make some sort of policy change, JPY would initially weaken but not continue to do so because of concerns about side effects and continuity, and at some point USDJPY would lose steam. 
And, of course on a big driver:
  • Ultimately Brexit continues to loom and there will likely be little sense of direction despite some volatility.
FOMC on the 30th, Wednesday next week.
BOJ on the 31st, Thursday next week.

Japan – Reuters Tankan poll shows manufacturer outlook less pessimistic, service-sector sentiment three-month high

The Reuters Tankan seeks to track the BOJ report. Reuters is monthly, BOJ Tankan is quarterly.

Japanese manufacturers’ business outlook was less pessimistic in October
service-sector sentiment rose to a three-month high
 manufacturers voiced worry about the protracted trade war and slowdown in China’s economy
some Japanese firms do not see the impact of the global slowdown immediately hurting the economy
Sentiment index for manufacturers minus 5,
  • up two points from the prior month’s 6-1/2-year low of minus 7
  • index is expected to minus 6 in January
service-sector index climbed to plus 25
  • from plus 19 in the previous month
  • led by retailers who have likely benefited from consumers rushing to beat the Oct. 1 sales tax which went up to 10% from 8%
Poll of 504 large- and mid-sized companies, in which 248 firms responded
  • conducted Sept. 26 to Oct. 7

Bank of Japan’s Kuroda on the wires

Via Reuters

  • BOJ will ease without hesitation if chance that economy may lose momentum for achieving price goal heightens
  • Economy sustaining momentum for hitting BoJ’s price goal
  • BoJ must pay more attention than before to heightening risks, particular focus in on the output gap
  • If Oil prices continue to fall and clearly push down Japan’s inflation, that could impact inflation expectations
  • No preconception on what policy decision will be made in October
  • Investors risk aversion easing somewhat due to progress in US-China trade negotiations
  • BoJ can combine, enhance tools which are rate cuts increase in asset buying and acceleration of base money
  • Excessive fall in super-long yields could hurt consumer sentiment by lowering returns of pension, insurance funds
  • Our policy is stimulating economy, but increased scrutiny is needed on cost of prolonged ultra low rate environment
  • Overseas economic slowdown yet to affect Japan’s domestic demand
No hints on whether more QE is coming for October, which is what would have weakened JPY further on the current change in sentiment with China waiving some soybean tariffs.
Interesting line about scrutiny on ultra low rate environment. We are starting to see a move away from monetary policy towards fiscal policy. I think it is reasonable expect this to be the next driver in the FX markets now if conditions remain in an ultra low interest environment.

The 3 reasons EUR has bottomed against the USD and yen

A quick snippet from Mizuho in Japan on the euro. Citing three reasons it has bottomed out:

  • European Central Bank’s easing options are limited
  • Brexit uncertainties a negative for GBP against EUR
  • Chatter of fiscal stimulus
On the ECB:
  • to hold back from restarting asset purchases on Thursday
  • likely to cut negative policy rate further, to -0.5%, but room for further cuts is limited
  • 1.15 possible by year-end
A quick snippet from Mizuho in Japan on the euro. Citing three reasons it has bottomed out:Last one for Dr. D
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