Has the Yen Bottomed Out?

Has the Yen Bottomed Out?
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Yen selling seems to be slowing down, and this strategist sees a possible turning point.

You wouldn't know it today, but investors have been feeling pretty frisky lately, thanks to stimulus moves from the European Central Bank and the Federal Reserve and generally improving economic data.

Good times for the rest of us often mean bad times for the yen, since it becomes less appealing as a refuge from stormy conditions. Sure enough, the currency been slipping in recent weeks, and the dollar even cracked the 80-yen level on hopes for easing moves by the Bank of Japan.

Don't get too used to it, says Samarjit Shankar, a global FX strategist at Bank of New York Mellon.

Shankar has been looking at investment flows, and he sees "a sharp deceleration in the ongoing net selling of the Japanese yen," he says.

That would be logical, given the dismal earnings reports pouring out of the U.S. But there is more. Shankar notes that the one-month moving average of an indicator he follows on the yen - which has been a good leading indicator of yen-dollar performance - appears to have bottomed out,.

All this has Shankar thinking that "the yen may begin to garner some support despite a weak domestic economy as global investors take risk off the table," he wrote in a note to clients.

Sure enough, investors have been selling more risk-sensitive currencies like the Canadian dollar and the Swedish krona.

Stay tuned.

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