• Tag Archives Japan
  • Japan’s Lonely Single Men Are Settling For Virtual Reality “Wives Of The Future”

    In a country where over 70% of unmarried men between 18 and 34, and 60% of women, have no relationship with a member of the opposite sex, and where birthrates are among the lowest in the world after Japanese women gave birth to fewer than one million babies in 2016 for the first time since the government began tracking birth rates, Bloomberg reports on an industry that’s profiting off the reluctance of young Japanese men and women to find a human partner.
    ***
    What Bloomberg calls the ‘virtual love industry’ in Japan has blossomed into a multi-million-dollar concern as unmarried men and women increasingly turn to simulated digital offerings for companionship. Inventors create applications that essentially allow users to build a ‘virtual wife’ or ‘virtual husband’. While we imagine virtual companions bring badly needed comfort to millions of lonely Japanese, as Bloomberg notes, the industry does have a dark side: Some virtual-reality offerings promote unrealistic and even damaging portrayals of women as submissive. And men as domineering and menacing.

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


  • Gold Bullion Fails to Recover $1300 Even as Dollar Retreats Post-Fed, Kim + Trump Trade Insults

    Gold bullion rallied almost $10 per ounce on Friday from yesterday’s 4-week lows against the Dollar but failed to recover what analysts called the “key pivot” of $1300 despite claims of safe-haven buying after Pyongyang threatened to test a nuclear bomb over the Pacific Ocean.
    The Yen rose faster versus the Dollar, erasing last week’s 0.7% gain in gold for Japanese investors, as Kim Jong-un – leader of the regime in neighboring North Korea – called US President Trump “deranged”, and Trump called Kim a “madman”.
    “Chinese interest was once again prevalent to underpin the early session bid,” says one Asian bullion desk.
    Ratings agency S&P today downgraded China‘s sovereign debt one notch to A+, saying that credit growth remains strong and “deleveraging is likely to be [too] gradual.”
    This was the ” wrong decision” Beijing’s Finance Ministry replied.
    Chinese gold premiums, over and above the global reference rate of London prices, held Friday at $7 per ounce, still below the typical incentive for new imports of $9-10 per ounce.
    After India’s gold bullion imports tripled from a year ago to $15 billion-worth in April-August, “We don’t favor a blanket restriction on gold imports,” the Economic Times today quotes a Commerce Department official, “[because] it may involve disputes in the World Trade Organisation.”

    This post was published at FinancialSense on 09/22/2017.


  • The forthcoming global crisis

    The global economy is now in an expansionary phase, with bank credit being increasingly available for non-financial borrowers. This is always the prelude to the crisis phase of the credit cycle. Most national economies are directly boosted by China, the important exception being America. This is confirmed by dollar weakness, which is expected to continue. The likely trigger for the crisis will be from the Eurozone, where the shift in monetary policy and the collapse in bond prices will be greatest. Importantly, we can put a tentative date on the crisis phase in the middle to second half of 2018, or early 2019 at the latest.
    Introduction
    Ever since the last credit crisis in 2007/8, the next crisis has been anticipated by investors. First, it was the inflationary consequences of zero interest rates and quantitative easing, morphing into negative rates in the Eurozone and Japan. Extreme monetary policies surely indicated an economic and financial crisis was just waiting to happen. Then the Eurozone started a series of crises, the first of several Greek ones, the Cyprus bail-in, then Spain, Portugal and Italy. Any of these could have collapsed the world’s financial order.

    This post was published at GoldMoney on September 21, 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.


  • Finnish Politician Tells Women ‘Be Patriotic, Have More Babies’ As Birth Rates Crashes To 150 Year Lows

    For years, the Japanese government has been desperately trying to encourage its citizenry to have more sex to combat the collapsing demographics the nation faces, trying guilt (blasting their “sexual apathy”) and punishment (imposing a “handsome tax” to make lief more even for ugly men), to no avail.
    Now it appears Finland is suffering a similar fate. As Bloomberg reports, Finland, a first-rate place in which to be a mother, has registered the lowest number of newborns in nearly 150 years.

    The birth rate has been falling steadily since the start of the decade, and there’s little to suggest a reversal in the trend.
    Demographics are a concern across the developed world, of course. But they are particularly problematic for countries with a generous welfare state, since they endanger its long-term survival.

    This post was published at Zero Hedge on Sep 20, 2017.


  • Gold Investment ‘Roars’ in Japan on N.Korea Tension But Rate-Rise Talk Hits Price as Stocks Rise

    Gold investment prices at multi-week lows against all major currencies except the Japanese Yen on Tuesday in London, erasing the last of September’s earlier 4.0% jump versus the Dollar as global stock markets edged up to set yet another new record high.
    Starting 2017 at fresh all-time highs just above the spring 2015 peak, the MSCI World index gained another 12.2% in Dollar terms by Monday’s close, as New York’s stock markets set new historic highs of their own.
    “The most eye-catching sign” in the US stock market’s near 9-year bull market, says a new third-quarter chart outlook from the technical analysis team at French bank Societe Generale, “is the lack of market breadth in the US small caps and their exacerbated relative underperformance.

    This post was published at FinancialSense on 09/19/2017.


  • Asian Metals Market Update: September-18-2017

    Yen as well as gold can be affected on speculation that Japanese prime minister may called a snap general election next month. But first we have the FOMC meet this week and thereafter the German general elections and later US September nonfarm payrolls on 6th October. Over the next three weeks there are market moving news and events which can change direction of metals, energies and currency markets. Just remember to have a key technical support in hand and key resistance in hand and trade accordingly. Do not drain your brain by over analyzing news and events. Life is never complicated. It is through our perception that we make life complicated. Trading and investment is also like life.
    Gold and silver fell after the USA said that it will try peaceful pressure on North Korea. In my view they are just out of solutions as the USA knows that trade sanctions will be useless without the support of Russia and China. Except Japan, none of North Korea’s neighbour’s want an armed conflict.

    This post was published at GoldSeek on 18 September 2017.


  • Global Stocks Storm To New Record High Ahead Of Historic Fed Announcement

    Last week’s bullish sentiment that sent the S&P not only to a new all time highs, but a burst of last-second buying pushed above 2,500 for the first time ever, has carried through to the new week, with European and Asian shares rallying across the board, US futures again the green, and world stocks hitting a new record high on Monday ahead of a historic Fed meeting in which the FOMC is expected to announce the start of the shrinkage of its balance sheet.
    ***
    ‘The FOMC’s latest verdict will be of special interest,’ said Daniel Lenz, an analyst at DZ Bank in Frankfurt. ‘The Fed could well set the balance-sheet-reduction process in motion.’
    MSCI’s index of world stocks hit a new all-time high, adding to gains seen on Friday when Wall Street set its own record level, while Europe’s main stock index opened at a six-week high on Monday and MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares ex-Japan rose to heights not seen since late 2007.
    As DB’s Jim Reid summarizes the week’s key events, this week will be dominated by 3 of the most powerful women in the world “and I’m not talking about Daenerys Targaryen, Cersei Lannister and Sansa Stark. Instead we have our real world version with Mrs Yellen likely to announce the end of Fed reinvestment on Wednesday, Mrs Merkel firm favourite with the pollsters to see a big election win on Sunday and Mrs May set to outline her latest Brexit vision in Florence on Friday. Of the three, Mrs May’s speech is currently the least predictable but after a big week for the UK last week (GBPUSD +2.98%, GBPEUR +3.75%, 10yr Gilts +32bps, and the November hike probability from 18.4% to 64.5% according to Bloomberg’s calculator), Sterling assets are seeing some significant volatility at the moment.”

    This post was published at Zero Hedge on Sep 18, 2017.


  • Deutsche Bank: “This Is The $2.5 Trillion Question”

    Next Wednesday, the Fed is widely expected to officially launch its balance sheet reduction or “normalization” process, as a result of which it will gradually taper the amount of bonds its reinvests in the process modestly shrinking the Fed’s balance sheet.
    Very modestly. As shown in the chart below, the Fed’s $4.471 trillion balance sheet will shrink by $10 billion per month in October and November, or about 0.4% of its total AUM. Putting this “shrinkage” in context, over the same time period, the Bank of Japan and the ECB will continue adding new liquidity amounting to more than $400 billion. As a result, in Q4 net global liquidity will increase by “only” $355 billion, should Yellen begin “normalizing” in October following a September taper announcement as expected.

    That much is known, however there are quite a few unknown aspects about the Fed’s upcoming QE unwind, and as a result, Deutsche Bank writes that “the Fed is about to become hugely important for financial assets.”
    Assuming it all goes well, DB forecasts smooth sailing ahead, manifested by “nominal core rates will be relatively stable and the dollar gently weaker. 10s might trade a sustainably lower range 1.8-2.3 percent. There will be more of a gradual risk asset rotation favoring US (growth) equities, EM, some commodities at the expense of (value) equities, Eurostoxx, NKY with credit somewhere in between.”

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


  • Quad Witch ‘Pins’ S&P At Exactly 2500 Despite Dismal Data, Nukes, & Terrorism

    So to be clear, this week we had:
    Hurricane Irma crushes Florida North Korea test fires ICBMs across Japan (again) Economic data misses across the globe (China and US most notably) Terrorism in UK and France And the result – drum roll please – new record highs for The Dow, The S&P, and The Nasdaq… with The Dow’s best week of the year!!
    And in case you wondered what sent stocks soaring this week… The Fed (which is supposedly on the verge next week of starting to reduce the balance sheet) saw a $17.7bn spike in its balance sheet – the biggest weekly jump since Dec 2016

    This post was published at Zero Hedge on Sep 15, 2017.


  • North Korea – The Crazy Boast Nobody Takes Seriously Anymore

    Gold has now declined with the constant threats from North Korea. The lastest missile was fired over Japan and reached an altitude of about 770km (478 miles), travelling 3,700km past the northernmost island of Hokkaido before landing in the sea, according to South Korea’s military. The UN Security Council convened an emergency meeting, and unanimously condemned the missile launch as ‘highly provocative’but did not add new sanctions which do not seem to do anything anyway.

    This post was published at Armstrong Economics on Sep 16, 2017.


  • Market Talk- September 15th, 2017

    North Korea spooked markets yet again by launching a missile that reported flew over Japan, which came a day after North Korea claimed it would sink Japan. The events were short-livid however and after a brief flight to safety in gold, treasuries and the Yen markets quickly corrected back. The JPY traded into the low 110’s but by US trading had drifted into the 111’s. Gold did have a bid in Asian trading but by the late US session was testing $1320. The recovery had already taken place by the time Asia closed with the Nikkei closing in positive territory (+0.55%) with exporters and financials setting the pace. The Australian ASX closed down -0.8% led by industrials and miners. SENSEX and Hang Seng were both little changed but we saw a positive return for the core Shanghai index closing up +0.55% as the Yuan drifted again.

    This post was published at Armstrong Economics on Sep 15, 2017.


  • Suddenly, ‘De-Dollarization’ Is A Thing

    For what seems like decades, other countries have been tiptoeing away from their dependence on the US dollar. China, Russia, and India have cut deals in which they agree to accept each others’ currencies for bi-lateral trade while Europe, obviously, designed the euro to be a reserve asset and international medium of exchange.
    These were challenges to the dollar’s dominance, but they weren’t mortal threats.
    What’s happening lately, however, is a lot more serious. It even has an ominous-sounding name: de-dollarization. Here’s an excerpt from a much longer article by ‘strategic risk consultant’ F. William Engdahl:
    Gold, Oil and De-Dollarization? Russia and China’s Extensive Gold Reserves, China Yuan Oil Market
    (Global Research) – China, increasingly backed by Russia – the two great Eurasian nations – are taking decisive steps to create a very viable alternative to the tyranny of the US dollar over world trade and finance. Wall Street and Washington are not amused, but they are powerless to stop it. So long as Washington dirty tricks and Wall Street machinations were able to create a crisis such as they did in the Eurozone in 2010 through Greece, world trading surplus countries like China, Japan and then Russia, had no practical alternative but to buy more US Government debt – Treasury securities – with the bulk of their surplus trade dollars. Washington and Wall Street could print endless volumes of dollars backed by nothing more valuable than F-16s and Abrams tanks. China, Russia and other dollar bond holders in truth financed the US wars that were aimed at them, by buying US debt. Then they had few viable alternative options.

    This post was published at DollarCollapse on SEPTEMBER 15, 2017.


  • Gold Price Falls, Sinks vs UK Pound Despite N.Korea Missile, London Bomb + Spain’s Catalonia Crisis

    Gold price gains of 1.6% from last week were again erased Friday in London, as the outlook for interest-rate hikes trumped new geopolitical tensions led by another weapons test by the pariah state of North Korea.
    Dollar priced-gold retreated to $1325 per ounce – more than $30 below last Friday’s 12-month high – as major government bond prices fell yet again, driving US Treasury bond yields up to their highest since mid-August above 2.20% on 10-year debt.
    After threatening to “sink” Japan and turn the US “into ashes and darkness” on Thursday, Pyongyang this morning fired its furthest-yet missile test over the northern Japanese island of Hokkaido, splashing into the Pacific.
    British police said an ‘improved explosive device’ caused an explosion on a rush-hour London Tube train, with 22 people needing hospital treatment, mostly for burns

    This post was published at FinancialSense on 09/15/2017.


  • Markets Ignore North Korea Missile Launch; Send Pound Soaring, Yen Tumbles

    S&P futures are slightly lower (ES -0.1%) as traders paid little attention to the latest missile test by North Korea on Friday, with shares and other risk assets barely moving, gold lower and focus rapidly returning to when and where interest rates will go up. Most global market are mostly unfazed, and the Korean Kospi actually closed up 0.4%, by the latest geopolitical escalation after a North Korean ballistic missile flew far enough to put the U. S. territory of Guam in range. European stocks edged fractionally lower while Asian shares advanced.
    As reported on Thursday evening, the main overnight event was North Kore’s launch of a missile which passed through Japan’s airspace and over Hokkaido, before landing in the Pacific Ocean. This initially prompted Japan to issue an emergency warning for its residents to seek shelter, while there were also reports that South Korea conducted its own missile firing test as a show of readiness. US military stated North Korean missile did not pose a threat to Guam and that the launch was an intermediate range ballistic missile. South Korean President Moon said will not sit idle on North Korea provocation and that South Korea has power to pulverize should
    North Korea provoke. On Friday morning, Russia also denounced the ‘provocative’ N. Korea missile test, according to the Kremlin. Meanwhile, North Korea stated that it will take stronger actions for its self-defence if the US continues to walk on current course.
    Still, markets are showing clear signs of habituation to missile launches and other provocative actions from North Korea, which has fired more than a dozen missiles this year and tested a nuclear device. Global equities climbed to a record high this week as earnings and confidence in economic growth overshadowed tensions on the Korean Peninsula. The MSCI All Country World Index is poised for its third week of gains in four. Meanwhile, recent economic data has been supporting of bullish positions, with yesterday’s CPI prints suggesting inflation may again be on the rebound. While China data this week softened, the signals from DM financial markets remain optimistic. As such, investors will look to U. S. retail numbers today for more clues about the policy path.

    This post was published at Zero Hedge on Sep 15, 2017.


  • Markets Shrug Off Latest N. Korea Missile Launch; Busy U.S. Reports Day

    This is a syndicated repost courtesy of Money Morning. To view original, click here. Reposted with permission.
    (Kitco News) – Global stock markets traded narrowly mixed overnight and U. S. stock indexes are pointed toward weaker openings when the New York day session begins.
    Gold prices are slightly lower in pre-U. S.-day-session trading.
    The marketplace is so far showing a very muted reaction to the news North Korea has fired another ballistic missile over Japan. The U. N. Security Council is holding an emergency meeting today on the matter. On Thursday North Korea threatened to ‘sink Japan’ with its nuclear missiles and also to reduce the U. S. mainland ‘to ashes.’ The big unknown in this situation is how far will President Trump be pushed before he responds with military force.

    This post was published at Wall Street Examiner by Jim Wyckoff ‘ September 15, 2017.


  • North Korea Preparing For ICBM Launch: Japan Press

    Gold spiked and USDJPY tumbled as headlines from Japan’s Nikkei newspaper confirmed US military officials’ observations last night that North Korea is said to show signs of missile launch preparation.
    According to the Nikkei, citing an unidentified Japanese government official, the missile is being prepared for launch has engine for liquid fuel, suggesting missile is an ICBM. It adds that the missile is said to be fueled already, ready for launch. As Japan’s Asahi further notes, the North Korean missile prep may be for a Hwason 14 ICBM and adds that missile prep is said to have started on Wednesday.

    The immediate reaction was a risk-off spike in the Yen and dollar.

    This post was published at Zero Hedge on Sep 14, 2017.


  • Venezuela’s Inflation Rate Just Hit 2,061% (6 Mo CDS At Almost 13,000)

    This is a syndicated repost courtesy of Snake Hole Lounge. To view original, click here. Reposted with permission.
    Yes, the US economy like Europe and Japan are suffering from chronically low rates of inflation (unless you count things like home prices,. rent, college tuition, healthcare, etc).
    But not Venezuela! They just surpassed the year 2017 in terms of their inflation rate: 2061%!
    ***
    Venezuela’s sovereign curve remains steeply downward sloping with short-term rates in excess of 50%.

    This post was published at Wall Street Examiner on September 14, 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.