USDJPY just had its best week in 2 months, funding bullish momentum and carry trades around the world in the midst of dismal economic data everywhere and tumbling earnings expectations. This "bullish" Yen strength, however, amid China's biggest weekly devaluation in almost 3 months, was ironically driven by drastic investment outflows - record sales of Japanese stocks by foreigners (sell JPY), and record purchases of foreign bonds by Japanese investors (sell JPY). Sooner, rather than later, it is obvious that the investment outflows will dominate the carry trades (see Thursday and Friday) and Kuroda and Abe will have a major problem.
Yen was dumped all week...
Which provided just enough juice for carry trades to lift Japanese stocks (despite the weakness in data and China's biggest weekly Yuan devaluation in almost 3 months)
But notice that the last two days have seen Japanese stocks decouple from USDJPY, perhaps the first glimpse of the investment outflows overwhelming any casino-based carry trades flows.
And this is why... Foreigners sold a record amount of Japanese stocks last week... (implicitly meansing Yen was sold)
And Japanese investors fled the insanity of record low yields in JGBs, buying a record amount of foreign bonds last week (implicitly selling Yen again)...
So the Yen weakness - which was so bullishly supportive of global equity markets via carry - was in fact a signal of massive investor anxiety fleeing the sinking ship. Peter Pan-ic indeed.
Abe and Kuroda will soon face a major problem as a weaker Yen will signal the exact opposite trade that has been so active since 2012 - weakness means weak Japanese economy means sell Japanese assets.. and we will soon see capital controls in the world's largest debtor nation.
“The tailwind from the weak yen has gone. We can’t help but hold a pessimistic view on the outlook for exports,” said Atsushi Takeda, an economist at Itochu Corp. in Tokyo, said before the figures were released. “Domestic demand won’t be dependable at all, and the same goes for exports. I can’t deny the possibility of another economic contraction this quarter.”