The Threatening Yen

TheStreet.com

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- The yen fell below the 100 level on Thursday relative to the U.S., dollar. That has been the plan of Abenomics all along, and traders are finally favoring the dollar.

The chart below compares CurrencyShares Japanese Yen Trust over DB USD Index Bullish. That simply puts the movements of the U.S. dollar over those of the yen.

The pair broke out of a multi-month sideways trend, and appear to be headed higher. Japan ran a trade surplus in March higher than at any point over the past year. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's plan seems to be working, but at the expense of surrounding economies.

Export heavy countries surrounding Japan, most notably South Korea and Australia, see what Japan is doing as a currency war. Both cut their cash rates this week to make their currencies more competitive. As much as Japan wants to believe it is not engaging in monetary combat, other central banks don't agree.


The next pair is of S&P Equal Weight ETF overSPDR S&P 500. This pair shows how wide ranging the current rally is.

Short sellers have surrounded weak stocks this earnings season, but betting against equities has been a fruitless endeavor. Short selling hedge funds are down 7.5% year to date, and the truism, "Don't fight the Fed," looks to be in full effect.

Low interest rates have kept equities an attractive investment, and have cast a far reaching net across the asset class. The breadth, or level of participation in the market, has been high during the upswing in equities, and the trend isn't faltering just yet.

The last pair is of DB Precious Metals Fund over an equal weight DB Commodity Index Tracking Fund. This pair measures a basket of precious metals over a basket of equal-weight commodities in order to determine relative strength of the sector.

The chart below shows that precious metals had a steep sell-off a few weeks ago and then a consolidation period. Now precious metals appear to be returning to their downtrend.

Equities are pushing higher, which makes precious metals less attractive, as well as the dollar showing strength with a weak yen. The strength of the dollar pushes commodities priced in dollar terms down, and precious metals are no exception.

At the time of publication the author had no position in any of the funds mentioned.

This article was written by an independent contributor, separate from TheStreet's regular news coverage.

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