The markets are falling out of step with the Bank of Japan. It is becoming a familiar pattern: Expectations rise that the BOJ will take bold hawkish steps. The reality is milder, and disappoints. The yen weakens yet further.

This predictable loop was on display recently, when traders talked themselves into thinking that the BOJ would begin quantitative tightening. When Gov. Kazuo Ueda announced that it would merely detail the specifics next month, the hawks were disappointed again.

Perhaps it is inevitable that a new dance partner would struggle after 10 years of Ueda's predecessor, Haruhiko Kuroda — an accomplished communicator who also enjoyed springing surprises. But 14 months into his governorship, Ueda and the markets are still stepping on one another’s toes. Expectations continually track far ahead of where the bank is moving.