The Japanese Yen continues to weaken on the BoJ’s standout dovish policies.
- The Forex market is dominated by a weak Japanese Yen (influenced by the Bank of Japan’s pledge to continue monetary easing until its inflation target of 2% is reached) and a rising US Dollar. The USD/JPY currency pair continued to rise over the Tokyo session to trade at a new 6-year high above ¥121.50. It looks likely to advance higher still over the coming days, as the Bank of Japan pledged a few hours ago to purchase an unlimited amount of JGB bonds at 0.25% after the 10-year Yen yield hits 0.245%, the highest rate seen in 6 years.
- Bitcoin broke out from its consolidating triangle over the weekend, and a few hours ago reached a 7-week high just below $48k.
- Ukrainian President Zelenskyy signaled a readiness to discuss Ukrainian neutrality and non-nuclear status and ruled out the retaking of Crimea by force, in what is seen as positioning for peace talks with Russia. The Russian invasion of Ukraine is well into its fifth week, with the Russian advance clearly stalled by Ukrainian military force and logistical problems. US President Biden, speaking in Poland over the weekend, called for regime change in Russia before his office walked back the comments.
- Agricultural commodities are broadly strong, with cotton closing last week at a multi-year high.
- Daily new coronavirus cases globally fell last week after rising for two weeks in a row. There is a new omicron sub-variant, BA2, which appears to be 30% more infectious, which has been driving a recent increase in infections in some areas.
- Although official Chinese statistics claim coronavirus infection is falling, the large city of Shanghai is under lockdown.
- It is estimated that 64.3% of the world’s population has received at least one dose of a coronavirus vaccination, while approximately 6.1% of the global population is known to have contracted the virus at some stage.
- Total confirmed new coronavirus cases worldwide stand at over 482.1 million with an average case fatality rate of 1.28%.
- The rate of new coronavirus infections appears to now be increasing only in Australia, Cyprus, China, France, Italy, Laos, Luxembourg, Malta, Monaco, Samoa, Tonga, the UK, and Vanuatu.