The Japanese yen suddenly strengthened against the dollar and the euro around noon Eastern time today. At 12:05 ET, $1 was worth 98.21 yen. At 12:27 ET, it was 96.01. Over the course of that time, the dollar weakened by more than 3% against the yen.
This may not seem like much to those who don’t trade currencies, but it’s a massive strengthening of the yen—or weakening of the dollar, if you prefer—in a very short period of time. Abenomics, a trifecta of policies spearheaded by Japanese PM Shinzo Abe, was meant to weaken the yen against other currencies. That would make exports more attractive, and hopefully help combat deflation.
The speed and magnitude of this movement could signal an attack on Abe’s policies. The dollar and euro have already strengthened dramatically against the yen so far this year. The question is how much further the yen can go.