Japan’s benchmark bond yield may rise to levels not seen in almost four months if elections spur concern fiscal reforms will be set aside, according to Taisuke Sughino, deputy general manager at Dai-ichi Life Insurance Co.
The opposition party-controlled upper house this month ratified legislation to double the 5 percent tax by 2015 after Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda pledged to call elections “soon.” The lower house passed the bill in June, causing more than 50 ruling Democratic Party of Japan legislators to leave.
“While the passage of the sales tax hike bill is easing immediate concerns about the fiscal situation, if the Diet is dissolved and there’s a general election, the possibility that cost-cutting measures will be shelved could raise concerns among foreign investors,” Sughino said.
Election issues could send the 10-year note yield to 0.9 percent by year end, he said in an interview on Aug. 17. The rate declined 1 1/2 basis point, or 0.015 percentage point, to 0.835 percent as of 1:21 p.m. in Tokyo today, and it hasn’t been at 0.9 percent or higher since April 27.