Winner is: Prime Minister Shinzo Abe
Yen declines 0.5 percent to 113.13 per dollar as all eyes turn to Sunday’s Japan election. Japan’s equity benchmarks pared losses as U.S. equity-index futures climbed and the yen declined, unwinding gains from the previous day.
Japan goes to the polls on Sunday with a win tipped for Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. Victory could pave the way for him to govern Japan until 2021.
Only a few months ago his popularity tumbled over a series of cronyism scandals, prompting some allies to weigh challenging him as party leader. Then a cabinet reshuffle and North Korean missile launches over Japan helped stop the bleeding, giving him a window to secure a fresh mandate that could end up making him the country’s longest serving prime minister.
A convincing victory would also keep in place the ultra-easy monetary policy that weakened the yen, propped up exports and helped stocks rise to heights not seen since before the financial crisis. Diplomatic policies, including cozying up to President Donald Trump to keep the U.S. alliance strong in the face of North Korea’s threat, will also be maintained.
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s early election gamble looks like it will pay off.