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Weakness Ahead for the Yen?

Thursday, 11 Oct 2012 | 1:48 PM ET

Got a yen for weakness? It wouldn't hurt.

Downward pressure is building on the yen on multiple fronts, according to Marc Chandler, chief currency strategist at Brown Brothers Harriman.

For one thing, economic indicators are less than promising. Total machinery orders in Japan fell 12.6 percent in August alone, reinforcing the view of many economists "that the Japanese economy, like the euro zone economy, likely contracted in Q3 and the prospects for Q4 are also poor, " Chandler says.

Then there is the related fact that the central bank is under increasing pressure to cut interest rates in view of the deteriorating economic conditions. And Chandler argues that the pressure will only increase after the upcoming Japanese elections in the event of an LDP victory .

At the same time, Chandler wrote in a note to clients, "Japanese officials seem to have spun their informal discussion of the hardships being imposed by the yen's strength. They have highlighted the fact that the other G7 members did not object." Chandler thinks the other countries may still object to a central bank move, as they did in 2011 - but he notes that "nationalistic voices are moving into ascendancy."

On top of all this, investors are adding to their net long yen positions. That means they might have to cover their positions by selling if the currency starts to dip.

Stay tuned.

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