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Does change in exchange rates affect international trade?

If yesterday one dollar bought 100 yen, and today one dollar buys 120 yen, each dollar today buys 20 percent more Japanese goods than it bought yesterday.

Source: Cafe Hayek: Hooray for a Strong Dollar

Really! So, presumably, this 20% more japanese products came out of nowhere in a day?

Or did he meant to say that purchasing power has shifted from holders of Japanese Yen to holders of US dollars. But how can we conclude that merely from the fact that exchange ratio between dollars and Yen has changed.

If say, Japanese govt. has printed more Yen. It will simply inflate the prices of all products in Yen. US dollars will also appreciate compared to Yen but (may) not appreciate compared to Japanese products.

So, why would US dollars be able to buy more Japanese products?

If amount of US dollars and Japanese products in the market haven't changed in a day, why would their ratio (prices) change?


Anna Coulling

As a full time currency trader in the UK, I thought I would add my comment to your post on the Yen and the Japanese economy. In simple terms I believe there are several things to remember when trading the dollar yen or investing in yen assets. Firstly, the economy is unlike any other in the western world. It is highly dependent on its export markets which in turn are highly dependent on the strength or weakness of the yen. This in turn affects the speculation on the yen and in particular the carry trade which has been a favourite for many years due to the very low interest rates. This is likely to continue for some time to come and my own personal view is that the rates may be cut later this year back to 0.25%. Now bear in mind that a strong yen will adversely affect exports, and the interventionist Bank of Japan will ensure that this does not continue. In short, a recipe for a weak yen to dollar relationship for the foreseeable future. My personal view is that the pair will bounce back from below the psychological 100 barrier, back to somewhere between 105 and 110 in the short to medium term.

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