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Bank of Japan's nightmare year

After starting badly, 2019 promises to pile pressure on Kuroda

| Japan
What can the BOJ actually do?   © Reuters

If you think Jerome Powell faces a difficult 2019 as chairman of the U.S. Federal Reserve, consider what awaits Haruhiko Kuroda at the Bank of Japan.

The New Year usually gets off to a slow start in Japan, where the nation's 126 million people generally enjoy a few days' downtime. Not this year. As Gov. Kuroda's staff left the office in the last days of December, investors were already smarting from a 10% plunge in the Nikkei Stock Average, or Nikkei 225, in one month. As BOJ folks shuttled to and from hometowns around Japan, the yen surged -- at one point by nearly 4% on Jan. 3 alone.

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