A race to sell U.K. and U.S. currencies over rising government debt concerns in those countries is pushing many traders to the yen.
That, says one Wall Street economist, is pushing the Japanese currency to ridiculously high levels.
“There is a very popular notion that you’ve got to sell the pound and the dollar because of the rising government debt, whereas the one that everyone’s seemingly buying is the yen,” says Jim O’Neill, head of global economic research at Goldman Sachs.
“It’s ridiculous,” O'Neill told Bloomberg.
As the global economy recovers, markets are trying to figure out which currencies will be the big winners and the yen appears to be one of them, appreciating 9 percent against the dollar and 6 percent against the pound over the past few months this year.
The problem, says O'Neill, is that there is nothing in the Japanese economy itself to support such a strong currency.
“If I look at the underlying fundamentals, virtually everything that drove the yen stronger in its floating exchange history isn’t there anymore,” says O’Neill.
“The yen doesn’t deserve to be anywhere near this, and I don’t see it lasting.”
On Wednesday, the yen rose to a new seven-month high against the greenback.
A new administration is set to take over in Japan and has no intentions of intervening in the currency markets as long as movements remain gradual.
Incoming Finance Minister Hirohisa Fujii said he has seen no rapid swings in the currency market.
“I don’t think they are fluctuating rapidly now,” he said of the markets, according to the Financial Times.
© 2017 Newsmax. All rights reserved.