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One of the central conceits of Lost, a hit, mind-bending TV show from the last decade, was a protocol in which a sequence of numbers had to be typed into a computer every 108 minutes in order to avoid global catastrophe. When the protocol (a.k.a. pushing the button) was not followed, an alarm would sound, giving the button’s keepers one final chance to avert disaster.
Goosing the USDJPY is the financial world’s version of pushing the button [why? learn more about the yen carry trade.] When stocks are slipping, or merely need to be pushed up past overhead resistance, a quick spike in USDJPY is usually enough to obtain the desired result.
So, it’s troubling to the bullish case when the USDJPY merely goes sideways for nearly a year. It’s even more troubling when the Nikkei 225 alarm goes off, warning of impending disaster. Not only has NKD lost the support of the rising red channel, it has backtested that channel and plunged below its key moving averages.
The culprit, of course, is the BoJ — which has been derelict in its duty of pushing the yen lower (the USDJPY higher) for almost a year. Since it leveled out last December, stocks have not only peaked, but put in some of the most dramatic declines seen since 2011.
Last night, the BoJ disappointed yet again when it announced its latest enhancement to QQE. As Kuroda himself said afterwards, “today’s decision wasn’t additional easing.”
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