World Economy

Yen Stronger

Yen StrongerYen Stronger

Japan’s megabanks are calling time on the yen’s four years of depreciation, a blow to Haruhiko Kuroda’s chances of reviving inflation and growth, Bloomberg reported. Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ Ltd., Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corp. and Mizuho Bank Ltd. all see the yen ending the year stronger than where it started. And all three have revised up their 2016 forecasts as the yen gained 6.7% in the first two months of the year. The biggest expansion in Japan’s current-account surplus relative to the economy for at least three decades has only boosted the yen’s appeal as a haven from market turmoil. And its advance is not just about investors seeking safety. The lenders point to the waning prospect of a US interest-rate increase, just as the yen becomes less sensitive to Bank of Japan Governor Kuroda’s unprecedented easing. Plus, the yen is the second-most undervalued major currency by a purchasing-power measure.