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Apr 22 - 09:55 AM

BofA: Revising up USD/JPY Forecasts; Rationale and Targets

By eFXdata  —  Apr 22 - 08:30 AM


Bank of America (BofA) has revised its forecast for the USD/JPY exchange rate upwards, predicting that it will reach higher levels by the end of 2024 and 2025. The adjustment is based on several factors including sustained capital outflows from Japan, an accommodative monetary policy stance by the Bank of Japan (BoJ), and the dynamics of U.S. interest rates.

Key Points:

  • Revision of Rate Projections: BofA has increased its forecast for the USD/JPY from 142 to 155 by the end of 2024, with a peak expected in the 155-160 range during the year. For the end of 2025, the forecast has been adjusted from 136 to 147. These revised forecasts are notably higher than current Bloomberg consensus and forward rates.

  • Capital Outflows from Japan: There is clear evidence of accelerated capital outflows from Japan, which is a significant driver of the yen's depreciation. These outflows are primarily directed towards the U.S., fueled by differences in return expectations and economic prospects between the two countries.

  • BoJ’s Accommodative Policy: The BoJ is likely to maintain an accommodative monetary policy with the policy rate remaining in negative territory. This stance contrasts with the U.S. Federal Reserve's policy trajectory, further influencing the USD/JPY exchange rate.

  • Impact of U.S. Rate Cuts on Repatriation Flows: BofA analysts argue that even if the Fed were to cut rates, which would generally support risk assets, it is unlikely to trigger significant repatriation flows back to Japan. This is due to the nature of equity investments driving the outflows, where Japanese investments in U.S. equities are likely to remain in place despite potential rate cuts.

Conclusion: The upward revision in BofA’s USD/JPY forecasts reflects a combination of structural and policy-related factors that are expected to weaken the Japanese yen against the U.S. dollar over the next few years.

BofA Global Research


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