FXstreet.com (Barcelona) - The Dollar advanced on a strong pace against most currencies last week, the Yen was one of the losers, since Feb 12, USD/JPY has appreciated from 89.82 to a maximum level of 94.47 last Friday, for the first time in some months the Yen did not benefit from a climate of widespread risk aversion.
U.S. economy is showing signs of weakening, with the manufacturing sector slumping and equity prices declining, yet the Dollar is favoured in this context, as according BHF Bank's economic department, there is not any safer currency: Fundamentally, there is not much in the dollar's favour, but the alternatives do not look better at the moment. In addition to weak economic data, the extremely tight budget situation in some of the eurozone member states and widening credit spreads are weighing on the euro. Moreover, there is growing concern in the markets that the escalation of the situation in eastern Europe could also affect the euro area's economy.
The Yen, which, up to date had been the other safe haven currency together with the Dollar, seems to have lost attractive, as, according to BHF Bank, Japanese economy is showing signs of collapse: The yen's sharp drop this week was partly due to the Japanese Q4 GDP data. They show a drastic collapse in economic activity of 3.3% quarter-on-quarter and 4.7% year-on-year.
And the worst is not over, Japanese economy, according to BHF Bank will continue trending down in the forthcoming quarters: The fact that Japan is very export-oriented had supported growth in the past years, but is now becoming its downfall: in Q4, exports plummeted by almost 14% quarter-on-quarter. Furthermore, the collapse looks set to continue: some estimates, which should be taken seriously, are expecting a decline on the same scale in the current quarter.