Less than a month ago the CBOE volatility index – known as the best indicator of fear in the markets – dropped to a record low of below 9. The declines were a result of steady equity markets, low trading volumes, and optimism that the markets were heading higher. This has all changed in the past two weeks, with the fear index rallying from a low of 9.52 to 17.28 – an 81% spike in 4 days from Aug 8 to Aug 11.
The yen traded slightly lower against the dollar early on Thursday, after the BoJ kept interest rates on hold and pushed the deadline for it to reach its inflation target for another six months. As widely anticipated the central bank kept key policy rates at -0.1% and a 10-year government bond yield target of around 0%.
The big theme at the moment is rising bond yields as key central banks attempt to move away from the era of extraordinarily loose monetary policy and zero interest rates. This is due mainly to rising levels of inflation, higher rates of employment and steady growth across many developed economies.