DEC 3: How Does the Japanese Yen Stack Up Against the US Dollar in Forex Markets

by David Jenyns on December 3, 2006

The Japanese yen is the official currency of Japan and after the euro and the US dollar is the most widely traded form of currency on the Forex. The foreign exchange market can trade currencies from all over the world with each other. There are many individuals who trade on the Forex to make a profit. When doing this, it is important to understand how each form of currency works in relation to others. The Japanese yen is very comparable to the US dollar on the Forex market.

The Japanese yen was first recognized as currency in 1870 and was modeled after the monetary system in Europe. After War World II, the Japanese yen lost most of its value due to instability. Now, the yen has more value and compares more consistently with the US dollar.

The value of the Japanese yen is mostly determined in the foreign exchange markets and by simple supply and demand. When a yen holder wants to exchange that form of currency for other currencies in order to purchase goods, services or assets, the money is traded on the Forex. When the demand for the yen is high, the value goes up. Until the Bretton Woods System collapses in 1971, the value of the Japanese yen was set at Y360 per US $1. Those prices helped stabilize the Japanese economy. When that system was done away with, the value of the yen compared to the US dollar became more competitive. Up to that point in time, the yen was undervalued.

As time progressed, the Japanese government was concerned that if the value of the yen rose, it would hurt the export business in Japan. They thought it might make Japanese products less competitive and would negatively affect the industry. This is when the Japanese government often intervened with the Forex to affect the value of the yen. This was not helping and the value of the yen climbed steadily. When the increased costs of oil began to change from 1974 to 1976, the yen began to depreciate. There were several fluctuations of the yen during the late seventies and early eighties as the price of oil increased. The yen was weak compared the US dollar until the late eighties when the value began to rise because of the trade surplus that was taking place in Japan.

When the big push came to invest in overseas companies and products, the yen began to have more value. Japan currently enjoys incentives from overseas investments. With the large rise in the value of the yen, Japanese companies began to search for lower production costs and costs associated with importing and exporting.

With the popularity of exchanging and trading the Japanese yen to US dollars, the exchange rates on the Forex are important. The exchange rates represents the link between on country and their partners in other countries. The trading between countries can either negatively or postively affect the relative price of goods and services that are being traded at any one give time. The exports and imports, the assets and the profit from these trades all affect the currency rates. Japan is major import and export country. The yen is widely used and recognized on the foreign exchange market.

Over time, the fixed, or constant, rates can be predicted by looking at a wide variety of factors including the government policies of a country, current events, supply and demand and even consumer attitudes. The Forex boasts flexible rates, which means that the rates are always changing based on the trade flows, interest rates, rates of inflation and the prediction of future events.

It is also important to remember when comparing the Japanese yen to the US dollars that the foreign exchange market is the most liquid market in the world. It is not like the stock market. Money is constanly changing hands from financial instiutions to other institions. It takes an experienced broker or profeessional that knows and understand the various currencies and trends to understand to trade sucessfully on the Forex market. The Japanese yen is more comparable to the US dollar now than it was in the past. It is one of the major currencies that is traded every single day on the foreign exchange market.

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