• Tag Archives BOJ
  • Biggest Bubble Ever? 2017 Recapped In 15 Bullet Points

    Yesterday we presented readers with one of the most pessimistic, if not outright apocalyptic, 2018 year previews, courtesy of BofA’s chief investment, Michael Hartnett who warned that in addition to the bursting of the bond bubble in the first half of the year, the stock market could see a 1987-like flash crash, potentially followed by a sharp spike in (violent) social conflict. However, in addition to his forecast, Hartnett also had one of the more informative, and descriptive, reviews of the year that was, or as he put it: 2017 was the perfect encapsulation of an 8-year QE-led bull market.
    Here are his 15 bullet points that show why in 2017 we may have seen the biggest bubble ever (and why we can’t wait to see what 2018 reveals).
    Da Vinci’s ‘Salvator Mundi’ sold for staggering record $450mn Bitcoin soared 677% from $952 to $7890 BoJ and ECB were bull catalysts, buying $2.0tn of financial assets Number of global interest rate cuts since Lehman hit: 702 Global debt rose to a record $226tn, record 324% of global GDP US corporates issued record $1.75tn of bonds Yield of European HY bonds fell below yield of US Treasuries Argentina (8 debt defaults in past 200 years) issued 100-year bond Global stock market cap jumped1 $15.5tn to $85.6tn, record 113% of GDP S&P500 volatility sank to 50-year low; US Treasury volatility to 30-year low Market cap of FAANG+BAT grew $1.5tn, more than entire German market cap 7855 ETFs accounted for 70% of global daily equity volume The first AI/robot-managed ETF was launched (it’s underperforming) Big performance winners: ACWI, EM equities, China, Tech, European HY, euro Big performance losers: US$, Russia, Telecoms, UST 2-year, Turkish lira

    This post was published at Zero Hedge on Nov 22, 2017.


  • Synchronized Global Not Quite Growth

    This is a syndicated repost courtesy of Alhambra Investments. To view original, click here. Reposted with permission.
    Going back to 2014, it was common for whenever whatever economic data point disappointed that whomever optimistic economist or policymaker would overrule it by pointing to ‘global growth.’ It was the equivalent of shutting down an uncomfortable debate with ad hominem attacks. You can’t falsify ‘global growth’ because you can’t really define what it is.
    Japan was common then among the world’s various economies to be relying so much on it. As I wrote that September:
    The curious part about that ‘pick-up in global demand’ is exactly what I am driving at. What he [BoJ Deputy Governor Kikuo Iwata] is saying is that the economy in Japan will get better because some nebulous notion of the global economy will get better; or, if you want to be specific, they expect the economy to improve because the economy is expected to improve. While he (and those like him) will not admit to engaging such circular logic, that is what it really amounts to…
    It became a staple of mainstream analysis because it was easy and non-specific. And in many ways it has become so again, in 2017 perhaps even to that much more of an impressive (sounding) degree. This time around not only is ‘global growth’ supposedly picking up, it is doing so in synchronizedfashion. Being applied to Japan again and more so China, it’s the first time in seven or perhaps ten years, apparently, that this has happened – therefore we are meant to be very impressed by it even if it still remains undefined.

    This post was published at Wall Street Examiner on November 3, 2017.


  • Market Talk- October 31, 2017

    A slow but steady day in Asian equity markets, but happy in the knowledge that the BOJ left almost everything unchanged. The Nikkei closed almost unchanged but has set an impressive two month rally. At above 22k the index closes at a 21 year high, but after the weak opening it took all day to recover unchanged. The Yen was a little weaker (0.5%) as it challenges the 114 handle again. The Australian ASX did open better but drifted throughout the day eventually closing on its low. However, irrespective of todays price action it has been a constructive month for the All Ords with a gain of around 3%. Shanghai managed to shake-off the PMI miss (51.6 against market expectations of 52), with Services also declining. In Hong Kong the Hang Seng we closed down -0.3% with bank stocks weighing on the market.
    Although we finished the month on a positive note, volumes were low. This usually is the case when a large index is closed and with Germany on a national holiday the absence of the DAX was noticeable. Spain’s IBEX helped sentiment though with a daily gain of +0.7%. The market is valuing ‘no news’ as positive these days, so with the demand for yield ever present any quiet day is good for low grade paper. This is present when comparing global credits to the states where it is not uncommon to find BBB credits trading even yield with US treasuries. The CAC managed a small +0.2% gain whilst the largest bank (BNP Paribas) recorded as the worst performing European bank stock today (-2.7%). UK’s FTSE managed a small positive for the day but an +0.5% in the currency helped international investors as traders continue to price in a BOE move on Thursday. Talk is that BREXIT discussions may be progressing better than many had expected but we have yet to hear details.

    This post was published at Armstrong Economics on Oct 31, 2017.


  • US Futures Rebound After Disappointing Chinese, European Data

    Yesterday’s sharp Chinese selloff is now a distant memory after the BTFDers emerged, and this morning U. S. equity futures are once again levitating as the FOMC begins its two-day policy meeting, following an uneventful BOJ announcement on Tuesday morning which left all QE parameters unchanged. Asian stocks traded mixed steady while European shares climb.
    The key event overnight was the BOJ meeting, in which the central bank maintained QQE with Yield Curve Control and kept NIRP unchanged at -0.1% as expected. The decision to keep QQE with YCC was made by 8-1 vote, with Kataoka the sole dissenter again who suggested the BoJ needs to buy JGBs so that 15yr yield stays below 0.2%, while Kataoka also commented that the BoJ should ease if domestic factors lead to delays in reaching the inflation target. In terms of changes to its outlook forecasts, the BoJ raised FY 17/18 Real GDP growth forecast to 1.9% from 1.8%, while it cut Core CPI forecasts to 0.8% from 1.1% for FY 17/18 and to 1.4% from 1.5% for FY 18/19
    Asian shares rose in afternoon trading, with the MSCI Asia Pacific Index gaining 0.1 percent to 168.29 and ignoring the overnight miss across the board in Chinese PMIs…

    This post was published at Zero Hedge on Oct 31, 2017.


  • Gold and Yen at Key Inflection Points; Watch for Possible Breakdown

    Key trend changes in the yen have a close correlation with major moves in the price of gold Both yen and gold are at another major inflection point Diverging monetary policy between the Fed and BOJ suggest next move is to the downside Background: Moves in the Japanese yen have been a reliable indicator for gold due to the effects of the yen carry trade. Given ultra-low interest rates in Japan, its currency has been the funding currency for global speculators who borrow in cheap yen and then speculate in other assets. When the yen weakens, there is greater borrowing of the currency to chase financial assets all over the globe. This pushes financial assets higher and reduces overall market volatility, which decreases the allure for gold as a safe haven asset. A weak yen relative to a stronger dollar is also negative for gold since a stronger dollar is typically associated with lower overall inflation rates. Thus, when the Bank of Japan (BOJ) decided to embark on a massive money printing program in 2012 to end deflation in Japan, that effectively marked the end for the bull run in gold.
    In this chart and those that follow, I show the yen inverted (in red) next to gold (in black) to illustrate the relationship over the key timeframes discussed. Here is the price of yen and gold from 2007-2012:

    This post was published at FinancialSense on 10/06/2017.


  • Central Banks at Risk of Default?

    Central banks do not play games with the markets but it sure feels like we are being played by someone! Earlier this year the Bank of Japan, Federal Reserve and the European Central Bank all had similar balance sheets at around $4.5 trillion. As we know, over the past ten years all three have risen from lower levels but have seen faster expansion by the BOJ and the FED gaining pace to now catch the ECB. Foreign exchange rates are always subjected to inherent volatility that is thrown into the mix. However, given the recent extremes on all fronts, there has been uncanny similarity around end of Q1′ 2017.
    Typically, a central bank balance sheet would off-set Assets against Liabilities and capital.

    This post was published at Armstrong Economics on Oct 4, 2017.


  • Japan’s “Deflationary Mindset” Grows As Household Cash Hordes Reach Record High

    After being force-fed more stimulus than John Belushi, and endless rounds of buying any and every asset that dares to expose any cracks in the potemkin village of fiat folly, Japan remains stuck firmly in what Abe feared so many years ago – a “deflationary mindset.”
    As Bloomberg reports, cash and deposits held by Japanese households rose for 42nd straight quarter at the end of June as the nation’s consumers continued to favor saving over spending.

    The “deflationary mindset” that the Bank of Japan is battling to overcome was also evident in the money laying idle in corporate coffers, which stayed near an all-time high, according to quarterly flow of funds data released by the BOJ on Wednesday.

    This post was published at Zero Hedge on Sep 21, 2017.


  • Traders Yawn After Fed’s “Great Unwind”

    One day after the much anticipated Fed announcement in which Yellen unveiled the “Great Unwinding” of a decade of aggressive stimulus, it has been a mostly quiet session as the Fed’s intentions had been widely telegraphed (besides the December rate hike which now appears assured), despite a spate of other central bank announcements, most notably out of Japan and Norway, both of which kept policy unchanged as expected.
    ‘Yesterday was a momentous day – the beginning of the end of QE,’ Bhanu Baweja a cross-asset strategist at UBS, told Bloomberg TV. ‘The market for the first time is now moving closer to the dots as opposed to the dots moving towards the market. There’s more to come on that front. ‘
    Despite the excitement, S&P futures are unchanged, holding near all-time high as European and Asian shares rise in volumeless, rangebound trade, and oil retreated while the dollar edged marginally lower through the European session after yesterday’s Fed-inspired rally which sent the the dollar to a two-month high versus the yen on Thursday and sent bonds and commodities lower. Along with dollar bulls, European bank stocks cheered the coming higher interest rates which should help their profits, rising over 1.5% as a weaker euro helped the STOXX 600. Shorter-term, 2-year U. S. government bond yields steadied after hitting their highest in nine years.
    ‘Initial reaction is fairly straightforward,’ said Saxo Bank head of FX strategy John Hardy. ‘They (the Fed) still kept the December hike (signal) in there and the market is being reluctantly tugged in the direction of having to price that in.’
    The key central bank event overnight was the BoJ, which kept its monetary policy unchanged as expected with NIRP maintained at -0.10% and the 10yr yield target at around 0%. The BoJ stated that the decision on yield curve control was made by 8-1 decision in which known reflationist Kataoka dissented as he viewed that it was insufficient to meeting inflation goal by around fiscal 2019, although surprisingly he did not propose a preferred regime. BOJ head Kuroda spoke after the BoJ announcement, sticking to his usual rhetoric: he stated that the bank will not move away from its 2% inflation target although the BOJ “still have a distance to 2% price targe” and aded that buying equity ETFs was key to hitting the bank’s inflation target, resulting in some marginal weakness in JPY as he spoke, leaving USD/JPY to break past FOMC highs, and print fresh session highs through 112.70, the highest in two months, although it has since pared some losses.

    This post was published at Zero Hedge on Sep 21, 2017.


  • Ahead Of Tomorrow’s Historic Fed Meeting, Here Is The Only “Cheat Sheet” You Need

    Ahead of tomorrow’s historic Fed announcement, in which for the first time the Fed is expected to announce the phasing out of bond reinvestment and the shrinking of its balance sheet by roughly $10 billion per month starting in October and November, but fear not the BOJ and ECB will more than offset this decline..

    … there are various other unknowns with which Yellen could still surprise the market, including the Fed’s signalling on policy rates, economic projections, a shift in the “dots”, comments on asset prices and, last but not least, whether Yellen will stay or leave when her term expires in Feb 2018.
    Below, courtesy of ING, is the definitive “cheat sheat” matrix laying out all possible permutations of what can happen tomorrow, as well as the most likely market reaction.

    This post was published at Zero Hedge on Sep 19, 2017.


  • WTF Chart Of The Day: BoJ Now Owns 75% of Japanese ETFs

    While ECB President Mario Draghi faces his own German-bond-market constraints in his hubristic bond-buying-bonanza, cornering him to taper sooner than later; the Bank of Japan appears to have thrown every textbook out of the window and cranked their plunge-protection to ’11’, as Bloomberg reports, The Bank of Japan now holds 75% of the nation’s ETFs.
    Since December 2010 – when The Bank of Japan held no ETFs at all – the central bank has been buying ETFs (doubling its annual buying target to 6 trillion yen in July 2016) as part of unprecedented economic stimulus. While the Nikkei 225 Stock Average has risen 89% since December 2010, the BOJ’s dominance of the ETF market has raised concerns.
    In fact, in a circular vicious cycle, the Bank of Japan’s purchases have helped assets managed by ETFs surge almost 10-fold since the end of 2010 to 25 trillion yen ($230 billion).

    This post was published at Zero Hedge on Sep 11, 2017.


  • Central Banks And Housing Prices: A Tale Of Three Countries (US, Germany and Japan)

    The US Federal Reserve, the European Central Bank (ECB) and Bank of Japan (BOJ) have all been hyper-active in recent decades. But the low-rate policies have not produced the same outcomes.
    The US, after home prices declined in 2008 and 2009, took a while to recover. Only in 2012 did US home prices begin to rise again.

    This post was published at Wall Street Examiner on September 11, 2017.


  • BofA: Even The Bubbles Are Becoming More “Bubbly” Thanks To Central Banks

    Back in June, Citi’s credit strategist Hans Lorenzen pointed out that while QE had failed to spark inflation across the broader economy, it had achieved something else: “the principal transmission channel to the real economy has been… lifting asset prices.” That however has required continuous CB balance sheet growth, and with the Fed, ECB and BOJ all poised to “renormalize” over the next year, the global monetary impulse is set to turn negative in the coming year. Meanwhile, as financial markets scramble to maximize every last ounce of what central bank impulse remains, we get such bubbles as London real estate, bitcoin and vintage cars, or as Citi puts it: “the wealth effect is stretching farther and farther afield.”
    ***
    Three months later, the latest to tackle the issue of central bank bubble creation, is BofA’s Barnaby Martin, who in a note released overnight asks rhetorically “are bubbles becoming more ‘bubbly’?

    This post was published at Zero Hedge on Sep 5, 2017.


  • Japan’s Second Largest Bank Plans To “Plow” 100 Billion Yen In Stocks

    It used to be that just the BOJ (via ETFs) and the largest Japanese pension fund, the GPIF (the largest in the world), had an implicit green light to allocate funds (in the case of the former, created out of thin air) to equities. That is no longer the case: according to Bloomberg, Japan’s second largest commercial bank, Japan Post Bank Co., has decided to follow in the footsteps of its giant peers, and plans to “plow” an 100 billion yen ($904 million) directly buying stocks “when it finds the right opportunities.”
    Unable to generate required returns through conventional means such as lending, Japan’s second-largest bank by deposits, which currently invests in equities only through passive investments in funds, plans on becoming a giant prop-trading hedge fund and aims to boost active stock holdings to several hundred billion yen in the next five to 10 years, said Katsunori Sago, executive vice president at the Tokyo-based company.
    In addition to stocks, the bank is also looking to buy “more higher-yielding overseas bonds”, (although in a time when junk bonds have near record low yields, one wonders just what the bank envisions) and alternative assets as it seeks to boost growth “in an environment where returns are being depressed by the central bank’s policies of negative interest rates and yield-curve control.” The allocation change is a huge departure for the lender which hold about 2 trillion yen in stocks, however all these are non-discretionary, through passive trust investments.
    Speaking to Bloomberg, Sago said that “It’s not right to only rely on passive investment for our stock holdings. At the same time, making the whole 2 trillion yen portfolio active would end up being passive anyway, so we need both passive and active portfolios to gain an edge from the active investment.’

    This post was published at Zero Hedge on Aug 31, 2017.


  • Total G-3 Central Bank Control

    There’s a lot of amazement and wonder at how the “stock market” can be up today with the devastating news out of Texas and the latest North Korean missile launch. Longtime readers of TFMR know exactly how this market levitation is accomplished so this post is designed as a public service in order to better educate and inform everyone else.
    Let’s just keep it simple…
    In 2017…and, actually, since 2008…the “markets” don’t actually exist. Oh sure, there are trades and prices but in terms of what the markets were 20 years ago?…those days are long gone. Instead, what we have now is total HFT domination. Over 90% of all volume on the NYSE and NASDAQ is now done through HFT machines that swap positions back and forth. This is common knowledge and if you and I know this, then you can be assured that The Fed, The ECB and the BoJ (known henceforth as the G-3) know this, too.
    To that end, since the G-3 are dedicated to market stability and the wealth effect, these central banks clearly seek to influence the direction of the equity markets by influencing the two key drivers of the HFT machines. And what are these drivers? The currency pair of USDJPY and the volatility index known as the VIX. Simply stated, if your wish is to drive “the stock market” higher, all you need to do is buy the USDJPY while at the same time selling the VIX. It truly is that simple.

    This post was published at GoldSeek on Tuesday, 29 August 2017.


  • Are Central Banks Nationalising the Economy?

    The FT recently ran an article that states that ‘leading central banks now own a fifth of their governments’ total debt.’
    The figures are staggering.
    Without any recession or crisis, major central banks are purchasing more than $200 billion a month in government and private debt, led by the ECB and the Bank of Japan. The Federal Reserve owns more than 14% of the US total public debt. The ECB and BOJ balance sheets exceed 35% and 70% of their GDP. The Bank of Japan is now a top 10 shareholder in 90% of the Nikkei. The ECB owns 9.2% of the European corporate bond market and more than 10% of the main European countries’ total sovereign debt. The Bank of England owns between 25% and 30% of the UK’s sovereign debt. A recent report by Nick Smith, an analyst at CLSA, warns of what he calls ‘the nationalization of the secondary market.’
    The Bank of Japan, with its ultra-expansionary policy, which only expands its balance sheet, is on course to become the largest shareholder of the Nikkei 225’s largest companies. In fact, the Japanese central bank already accounts for 60% of the ETFs market (Exchange traded funds) in Japan.
    What can go wrong? Overall, the central bank not only generates greater imbalances and a poor result in a ‘zombified’ economy as the extremely loose policies perpetuate imbalances, weaken money velocity, and incentivize debt and malinvestment.

    This post was published at Ludwig von Mises Institute on August 25, 2017.


  • Global Stocks Rise Amid Unexpected ECB “Trial Balloon”; Dollar Flat Ahead Of Fed Minutes

    European markets continued their risk-on mood in early trading for the third day, rising to the highest in over a week and rallying from the open led by mining stocks as industrial metals spike higher after zinc forwards hit highest level since 2007, lifting copper and nickel. The EUR sold off sharply, boosting local bond and risk prices after the previously discussed Reuters “trial balloon” report that Draghi’s speech at Jackson Hole would not announce the start of the ECB’s taper. The EURUSD has found support at yesterdays session low. Bunds have rallied in tandem before gilts drag core fixed income markets lower after U. K. wages data surprises to the upside. Early EUR/JPY push higher through 130.00 supports USD/JPY to come within range of 111.00.
    In Asia, Japan’s JGB curve was mildly steeper after the BOJ continued to reduce its purchases of 5-to-10-yr JGBs; the move was consistent with the BOJ’s desire to cut back whenever markets stabilize, according to Takenobu Nakashima, strategist at Nomura Securities Co. in Tokyo. The yen is little changed after rising just shy of 111 overnight. The S. Korean Kospi is back from holiday with gains; The PBOC weakened daily yuan fixing; injects a net 180 billion yuan with reverse repos; the Hang Seng index rose 0.9%, while the Shanghai Composite closed -0.2% lower. Dalian iron ore declines one percent. Japan’s Topix index closed little changed. South Korea’s Kospi index rose 0.6 percent, reopening after a holiday. The Hang Seng Index added 0.8 percent in Hong Kong, while the Shanghai Composite Index fell 0.2 percent. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index advanced 0.5 percent. Singapore’s Straits Times Index was Asia’s worst performer on Wednesday, falling as much as 1.1 percent, as banks and interest-rate sensitive stocks dropped.
    The Stoxx Europe 600 Index rose 0.7%, the highest in a week. The MSCI All-Country World Index increased 0.3%. The U. K.’s FTSE 100 Index gained 0.6%. Germany’s DAX Index jumped 0.8% to the highest in more than a week. Futures on the S&P 500 Index climbed 0.2% to the highest in a week. Global markets are finally settling down after a tumultuous few days spurred by heightened tensions between the U. S. and North Korea. Miners and construction companies led the way as every sector of the Stoxx Europe 600 advanced as core bonds across the region declined. Crude gained for the first time in three days after industry data was said to show U. S. inventories tumbled 9.2 million barrels last week.

    This post was published at Zero Hedge on Aug 16, 2017.


  • “Mystery” Central Bank Buyer Revealed: SNB Now Owns A Record $84 Billion In US Stocks

    In the second quarter of the year, one in which unlike in Q1 fund flows showed a persistent and perplexing outflow from US stocks and into European and Emerging Markets, a trading desk rumor emerged that even as institutional traders dumped stocks and retail investors piled into ETFs, a “mystery” central bank was quietly bidding up risk assets by aggressively buying stocks. And no, it was not the BOJ: the Japanese Central Bank’s interventions in the stock market are familiar to all by now, and for the most part the BOJ keeps its interventions local, mostly propping up Japanese stocks, whether the Nikkei 225 or the Topix.
    The answer was revealed this morning when the hedge fund known as the “Swiss National Bank” posted its latest 13-F holdings. What it showed is that, as rumored, the Swiss National Bank had gone on another aggressive buying spree in the second quarter, and following its record purchases in the first quarter, the central bank boosted its total equity holdings to an all time high $84.3 billion, up 5% or $4.1 billion from the $80.4 billion at the end of the first quarter.

    This post was published at Zero Hedge on Aug 9, 2017.


  • “We May Be Very Close To The Turning Point”: Selloff Blamed On This Note From JPM’s Marko Kolanovic

    While nobody knows what catalyzed for the sharp selloff over the last hour, with Citi blaming it on Acrophobia, or fear of heights, saying that “US equities opened at record highs, key levels were being approached in fixed income while USD enjoyed a bid across the board… However since then, it looks like markets have gotten a small case of cold feet”, Bloomberg had a different idea, when it observed that stocks erased gains around 12:30 p.m. as S&P 500 fell 0.5% over 60 minutes to low of 2,469.51. It notes that the “weakness occurred as traders circulated a note by JPMorgan quant strategist Marko Kolanovic that cautioned investors on the risks of record-low volatility in the equity market.”
    In his latest note, reposted below, Kolanovic, aka the JPM quant “Gandalf” popularized on this website over the past two years writes that “volatility near or at record lows by a handful of measures should ‘give pause to equity managers,’ and that ‘low volatility would not be a problem if not for strategies that increase leverage when volatility declines.’
    “In what is akin to the law of ‘communicating vessels,’ once inflows in bonds stop, funds are likely to start leaving other risky assets as well, including equities. The FOMC statement yesterday alleviated immediate fears – normalization of balance sheet will start ‘relatively soon,’ but only if ‘the economy evolves broadly as anticipated.’ This reasonably dovish stance pushes this market risk out for a few weeks (the next ECB meeting is Sep 7th, Fed Sep 20th, BoJ Sep 21st). This gives volatility sellers and other levered investors a limited window to position for a seasonal pickup in volatility and central bank catalysts in September.”
    For the TL/DR crowed, picking up on an article posted here two days ago in which MS explained what would happen if VIX went “bananas“, Kolanovic writes that “strategies that boost leverage when volatility declines, such as option hedging, CTAs and risk-parity, share similar features with the dynamic ‘portfolio insurance’ of 1987,’ which ‘creates a ‘stop-loss order’ that gets larger in size and closer to the current market price as volatility gets lower.’ Additionally, growth in short-vol strategies suppresses both implied and realized volatility, and with volatility at all-time lows ‘we may be very close to the turning point.’

    This post was published at Zero Hedge on Jul 27, 2017.


  • When Will The ECB Run Out Of German Bunds To Buy: Here Is The Math

    Speaking earlier on Monday, ECB governing council member Ewald Nowotny said that despite growing market concerns, the ECB “sees no need to set a timetable to end bond buying” adding that “the question is not when but how to continue. That will depend on the economic projections for 2018, which we will have in the fall […] It’s not about an abrupt halt, but about registering that we are no longer confronted by such an acute crisis as we were when we implemented the measures. I consider it wise to step off the gas slowly.”
    In other words, just like all other central bank pronouncements, this too was meant to instill confidence in the economy. There is just one problem: the question which Nowotny tried so hard to ignore is precisely the one that matters as we most recently explained in “Both ECB And BOJ Are Just Months Away From Running Out Of Bonds To Buy.” The question is even more relevant considering it has been the ECB’s purchases of corporate (and government) bonds that has led to a record drop in European credit spreads as we showed yesterday.

    This post was published at Zero Hedge on Jul 25, 2017.


  • BoJ Keeps Rates Unchanged, Postpones 2% Inflation Deadline

    The Bank of Japan kept its monetary stimulus program unchanged even as it pushed back the projected timing for reaching 2 percent inflation for a sixth time.
    The downgraded price outlook will raise more questions about the sustainability of the BOJ’s stimulus at time when other major central banks are turning toward normalizing their monetary policy. The European Central Bank, which is said to examine options for winding down quantitative easing, concludes its own governing council meeting later on Thursday.
    By again delaying the timing for hitting its price goal, the BOJ acknowledged the need to continue easing for at least several more years, probably beyond 2020 because of a sales-tax increase scheduled for late 2019, said Hiromichi Shirakawa, chief Japan economist at Credit Suisse Group AG and a former BOJ official.
    “Going forward, there will be even more attention on the sustainability of the stimulus from market participants and lawmakers,” Shirawaka said.
    BOJ Governor Haruhiko Kuroda said it was regrettable the central bank needed to push back its inflation goal again, saying it hadn’t intentionally made its forecasts too optimistic. He noted that central banks in the U.S. and Europe had also overestimated inflation.

    This post was published at bloomberg