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2014年2月 1日 (土)

新興国通貨安 FRBは「出口戦略」を慎重に

The Yomiuri Shimbun January 31, 2014
FRB must carry out ‘exit strategy’ on quantitative easing prudently
新興国通貨安 FRBは「出口戦略」を慎重に(1月31日付・読売社説)

The currencies of emerging markets have been sharply dropping across the board, threatening to cause a global stock market crash.

The stock market turmoil was triggered by the downscaling of U.S. quantitative monetary easing, and efforts must be made to prevent side effects of the turmoil from expanding while aiming to achieve market stabilization.


The U.S. Federal Reserve Board has decided to further shrink its Quantitative Easing program 3 (QE3)—the third of its kind, adopted in September 2012 in the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis.
The FRB will cut its monthly purchases of bonds and other assets beginning in February by $10 billion to $65 billion (about ¥6.7 trillion).
The decision to reduce asset purchases has been made for two consecutive months since the FRB launched a QE3 exit strategy in December.

In a statement, the U.S. central bank notes that “growth in economic activity picked up in recent months” and “household spending and business fixed investment advanced more quickly in recent months.”

The Federal Reserve presumably deemed it proper to step forward in decreasing asset purchases as it has become more confident regarding business recovery.

The statement revealed anew that the FRB will “make a further measured reduction in the pace of its asset purchase.” The QE3 is expected to conclude before the end of this year.

Of concern is the fact that investment money abundant in emerging economies due to the U.S. quantitative easing will flow out of those nations in search of higher returns in the United States, leading to selling of their currencies.

Steps to defend currencies

The value of Argentina’s currency, the peso, plunged last week. In a chain reaction, the currency values of Turkey, Brazil, India and Indonesia also depreciated.

In an effort to defend their currencies, the central banks of Turkey and India raised key interest rates to prevent investment money from fleeing their borders. South Africa followed suit by increasing interest rates for the first time in 5½ years.

Owing to these emergency measures, monetary uncertainty seems to have abated, but the tendency for currencies of emerging economies to be sold remains, thus leaving optimism unwarranted.

Since the financial crisis, emerging economies have served as a driving force for the world economy, backed by their high economic growth.

However, there is a strong sense of wariness toward countries like Argentina, which has been suffering from high prices and current account deficits due to a slowdown in its economy. There is no denying that such countries have been targeted by market investors.

Emerging economies face a dilemma in that if they raise rates to defend their currencies, it will lead to a business slowdown.

Drops in stock prices have not ceased in New York, Tokyo and elsewhere likely out of a sense of uncertainty over emerging economies, which has been rattling the markets.

Future focus will be on the pace at which the FRB will promote an exit strategy to phase out quantitative easing. Janet Yellen, who will replace Ben Bernanke as FRB chairman Saturday, will bear a heavy responsibility in this regard.

The exit strategy must be implemented meticulously so that rapid shrinkage of monetary easing does not cause confusion in global stock and exchange markets. To this end, having a “dialogue with markets” will be an indispensable step.

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Jan. 31, 2014)
(2014年1月31日01時18分  読売新聞)


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