Stocks Swoon, Treasuries Gain, Yen Dips on BOJ: Markets Wrap

(Bloomberg) — Markets whipsawed Wednesday in the wake of the Bank of Japan’s policy meeting, with many Asian equity indexes swinging between gains and losses while Japanese stocks rallied alongside a sharp drop in the yen.

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US share futures and Treasuries reversed earlier declines and a gauge of dollar strength rose after the BOJ kept its monetary settings unchanged. The yen depreciated as much as 2.6%, the most in almost three years.

The moves in Japan’s 10-year government bond yields were even more dramatic — first breaching the central bank’s 0.5% ceiling, then tumbling 15 basis points from an intraday peak.

While economists had expected Governor Haruhiko Kuroda to stand pat for now, traders had been testing policy makers. Wednesday marked the fourth day the 10-year yield breached the BOJ target.

Even as investors remain on guard for the central bank to continue large scale bond buying to protect its yield goal, there are doubts about how long it can continue, particularly with Kuroda’s term ending in April.

The BOJ’s use of the term “flexible” to describe bond purchases suggests it may allow yields above its present band in the future, according to John Vail, chief global market strategist for Nikko Asset Management.

“It could imply slack around the 50 basis point band,” said Vail. “It could be that it’s a phrase that will help calm some of the people who in the administration would like the policy to be more flexible.”

Read more: BOJ Outcome Seen as Setback for Yen But Bonds to Stay Pressured

Elsewhere, oil contracts traded higher as traders looked to a revival in Chinese demand this year after data showed the economy fared better than expected last quarter.

Iron ore rose for a second day as China’s improving economic. Gold extended a drop for a third day as the dollar strengthened.

Overnight in the US, Goldman Sachs Group Inc. shares fell after the lender reported a drop in investment-banking fees in the fourth quarter. Morgan Stanley, which also reported Tuesday, was buoyed by revenues from its asset and wealth management divisions, pushing its stock higher.

New York manufacturing data for January showed a decline to the lowest level since the early months of the pandemic, underscoring the pain facing producers as Federal Reserve rate hikes weigh on the economy.

Fed officials Raphael Bostic, Lorie Logan and Patrick Harker will speak Wednesday, providing potential clues on the outlook for rates.

Key events this week:

  • Euro-zone CPI, Wednesday

  • US retail sales, PPI, industrial production, business inventories, MBA mortgage applications, cross-border investment, Wednesday

  • Federal Reserve releases Beige Book, Wednesday

  • Fed speakers include Raphael Bostic, Lorie Logan and Patrick Harker, Wednesday

  • US housing starts, initial jobless claims, Philadelphia Fed index, Thursday

  • ECB account of its December policy meeting and President Christine Lagarde on a panel in Davos, Thursday

  • Fed speakers include Susan Collins and John Williams, Thursday

  • Japan CPI, Friday

  • China loan prime rates, Friday

  • US existing home sales, Friday

  • IMF’s Kristalina Georgieva and ECB’s Lagarde speak in Davos, Friday

Here are some of the main market moves:


  • S&P 500 futures rose 0.2% as of 7 a.m. London time. The S&P 500 fell 0.2%

  • Nasdaq 100 futures climbed 0.3%. The Nasdaq 100 rose 0.1%

  • Japan’s Topix Index rose 1.7%

  • Hong Kong’s Hang Seng was little changed

  • The Shanghai Composite was little changed

  • Euro Stoxx 50 futures rose 0.3%


  • The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index rose 0.2%

  • The euro was little changed at $1.0793

  • The Japanese yen fell 2.1% to 130.77 per dollar

  • The offshore yuan was little changed at 6.7753 per dollar


  • Bitcoin fell 0.3% to $21,260.16

  • Ether was little changed at $1,581.91


  • The yield on 10-year Treasuries declined seven basis points to 3.47%

  • Japan’s 10-year yield declined nine basis points to 0.41%

  • Australia’s 10-year yield declined six basis points to 3.55%


  • West Texas Intermediate crude rose 1.1% to $81.07 a barrel

  • Spot gold fell 0.3% to $1,903.38 an ounce

This story was produced with the assistance of Bloomberg Automation.

–With assistance from Stephen Kirkland.

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