Japan’s ex-Prime Minister Abe shot, condition unknown


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SINGAPORE — Japanese former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was shot on Friday while campaigning in the city of Nara, a government spokesman said, with public broadcaster NHK saying he appeared to have been shot from behind by a man with a shotgun.

Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirokazu Matsuno said he did not know Abe’s condition. Kyodo news agency and NHK said Abe, 67, appeared to be in a state of cardiac arrest when taken to hospital.

Abe has remained a dominant presence over the ruling Liberal Democratic party (LDP) party, and is best known for his signature “Abenomics” policy featuring bold monetary easing and fiscal spending. AKI MATSUMOTO, METRICAL EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR WHO PUBLISHES ON SMARTKARMA, TOKYO

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“The currency markets will probably postulate that the Abe shooting will hasten the end of Kuroda’s monetary easing, as the BOJ pushed hard during the Abe administration to induce the yen to weaken.

However, since long-term interest rates have recently been on a downward trend temporarily due to the association with the U.S. recession, the positions in the foreign exchange market were merely waiting for an opportunity to tilt the dollar against the yen.”

MIO KATO, TOKYO, LIGHTSTREAM RESEARCH ANALYST WHO PUBLISHES ON SMARTKARMA

“I don’t think there are any major fundamental implications that can be determined… The market dropping and the yen strengthening are probably just that there are some ‘tourists’ investing in Japan because of the weak yen etc. so if this spooks them and they cut back on risk, it would make sense for the market to drop a bit and the yen to strengthen.”

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“Nikkei dropped more than Topix which I generally view as a sign of foreigner risk off.” CHARU CHANANA, STRATEGIST, SAXO CAPITAL MARKETS, SINGAPORE

“While the details are still scanty, risk aversion is bound to pick up and global equities may see some sell-offs.”

“We saw risk aversion building in with yen gaining on the knee-jerk, and this move may intensify as London gets in. The situation will raise questions about the sustainability of Abenomics, and that could possibly mean a policy shift in Japan.”

MIN JOO KANG SENIOR ECONOMIST SOUTH KOREA AND JAPAN, ING, SEOUL

“The market’s first reaction was more to do with risk sentiment, that’s why the yen saw some temporary strengthening because of its safe haven status, and also it’s going to work negatively for the equity market. It’s too early to judge however whether there are going to be any policy changes as a result of this.” BART WAKABAYASHI, CO-BRANCH MANAGER, STATE STREET, TOKYO

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“I think the yen is just playing its safe-haven role. It’s generally a knee-jerk reaction to buy yen by FX market players who are pretty much ingrained in the way they trade.”

“It’s headline-chasing trading and then waiting for things to settle down later.”

JUSTIN TANG, HEAD OF ASIAN RESEARCH, UNITED FIRST PARTNERS, SINGAPORE

“In the immediate aftermath of the incident, markets were simply making a Pavlovian response in relation to the uncertainty. Given that Abe-san is no longer PM, it is unlikely that this barbaric attack will have a long term impact on the market.” (Reporting by Scott Murdoch and Alun John in Hong Kong and Rae Wee and Tom Westbrook in Singapore; Editing by Christopher Cushing)

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