NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- The Japanese yen could suddenly spike against a broad range of currencies, according to HSBC.
Over the last few days, the yen has strengthened as the USD/yen drops on the repatriation of funds by Japanese investors in expectation of big rebuilding activity in their country after a massive earthquake and tsunami.
"We believe the Bank of Japan/Ministry of Finance could intervene in the FX market if the Japanese yen moves become too disorderly," the HSBC Global Currency Strategy Research Team said in a report.
"However, we have to be aware of the idea that the FX market has responded with a lag in the past and the
yen could make a very abrupt move higher against a broad range of currencies."
HSBC analysis shows that the U.S. dollar/Japanese yen took about two weeks to significantly fall on crises such as the 1987 stock crash and the demise of Lehman Brothers during of the recent financial crisis.
The research team said, however, that if the yen's safe-haven currency status eroded, money could flow to the Swiss franc and Norwegian krone.
In turn, the U.S. dollar could benefit by default if liquidity constraints started to show in the Swiss and Norwegian currency markets.
The U.S. dollar was down 1% against the Japanese currency at 80.773 yen Tuesday morning.
CurrencyShares Japanese Yen Trust
was rising 1% to $122.08 and
PowerShares DB US Dollar Index Bullish
was up 0.4% to $22.
Japanese companies extended losses on Tuesday amid forced plant shutdowns and strength in the local currency, which eats away at corporate profits in this big-exporting country. Diversified manufacturer
was tumbling 7.9% to $6.16, imaging company
was losing 6.9% to $28.40, office equipment maker
was surrendering 9.9% to $54.34, auto parts maker
was down 2% to $15.57 and electricity generation systems and electronics company
( HIT) was falling 6.4% to $46.76.
-- Written by Andrea Tse in New York.
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