The Yen, the most traded currency coming out of Asia, is seen by many to be a proxy for the hidden strength of the manufacturing-export economy of Japan. If the Japanese economy goes, the Yen will go as well. Most countries use the Yen to measure the health of the Pan-Pacific region, with the economies of Thailand, Singapore, and South Korea considered, because their currencies aren’t traded commonly in the global forex markets.
The Yen is also renowned in the Forex markets for playing a role in the carry trade (which is earning a profit from the gap in interest rates of two currencies). For over two decades, Japan has had a zero-interest rate policy, which has allowed traders to borrow the Yen with no cost and use it to invest in other high yielding currencies over the world, to pocket the rate differentials.
The carry trade is a major part of the Yen’s international presence. Because it is constantly borrowed, it is difficult to appreciate the Japanese currency. The Yen is still traded with the same fundamentals of other currencies, but its association to international interest rates, exclusively with heavily traded currencies like the Euro and the Greenback, is a major determinant of the Yen’s value.
Did you know the coins and currency-pairs have nicknames?
The EUR/JPY pair is called Euppy, the GBP/JPY is Gopher, and the nickname for USD/JPY is Ninja!