Bargmann anticipates the dollar/yen rate to hit 100 in the second half from its current 90 level. Other analysts expect the yen carry trade to pick-up if the global economy rebounds and stokes demand for riskier assets.
“We are seeing the carry trade, but it is more selective than what we saw in 2004-2007, when money went into all risk assets,” Bargmann added. “The reason for this is because fear in financial markets has been replaced by caution following the global financial crisis.”
The weakening Japanese yen has also taken a toll on the iShares MSCI Japan Index Fund (NYSEArca: EWJ), which does not hedge currency risks, even though Japanese stocks have rallied. EWJ has gained 9.2% over the past three months. In comparison, WisdomTree Japan Hedged Equity Fund (NYSEArca: DXJ) and db-X MSCI Japan Currency-Hedged Equity Fund (NYSEArca: DBJP), which both hedge against the depreciating yen, have gained around 24% over the last three months.
Investors can also look at ETF options that implement a carry trade strategy. The PowerShares DB G10 Currency Harvest Portfolio (NYSEArca: DBV) and the iPath Optimized Currency Carry ETN (NYSEArca: ICI) both invest in a basket of high-yielding currencies while borrowing from currencies with low interest rates.
For more information on the yen, visit our Japanese yen category.
Max Chen contributed to this article.