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    Japanese Yen edges lower against USD, languishes near Wednesday’s 34-year low

    Source Fxstreet
    Mar 28, 2024 01:56
    • The Japanese Yen meets with a fresh supply in the wake of the BoJ’s dovish outlook.
    • Fed Governor Waller’s hawkish comments underpin the USD, supporting USD/JPY.
    • Thursday’s US macro data eyed for some impetus ahead of the PCE data on Friday.

    The Japanese Yen (JPY) struggles to capitalize on the previous day's modest recovery against its American counterpart from the lowest level since 1990 and edges lower during the Asian session on Thursday. Speculations that Japanese authorities may soon intervene in the markets to support the domestic currency prompted traders to lighten their bearish bets around the JPY on Wednesday. That said, the Bank of Japan's (BoJ) cautious approach and uncertain outlook for future rate hikes caps any further JPY appreciating move. 

    The US Dollar (USD), on the other hand, stands tall near the monthly peak in the wake of Federal Reserve Governor Christopher Waller's hawkish remarks on Wednesday. This turns out to be another factor that assists the USD/JPY pair to attract some dip-buying, though the upside seems limited as traders might wait for more cues about the Fed's policy path. Hence, the focus will remain glued to the US Personal Consumption Expenditures (PCE) Price Index – the Fed's preferred inflation gauge – due for release on Friday. 

    Daily Digest Market Movers: Japanese Yen continues to be undermined by BoJ’s cautious outlook

    • Japan's top currency diplomat Masato Kanda said on Wednesday that he won't rule out any steps to respond to disorderly FX moves and provided a modest lift to the Japanese Yen. 
    • Japan's top monetary officials met to discuss the rapidly weakening currency and suggested that they were ready to intervene to stop disorderly and speculative moves in the currency.
    • The JPY recovery lacks follow-through in the wake of the Bank of Japan's dovish tone, indicating that accommodative financial conditions will be maintained for an extended period.
    • The view was echoed by BoJ Board Member Tamura Naoki, adding that the bank will guide monetary policy appropriately in accordance with the economic, price, and financial developments.
    • The overnight hawkish comments by Federal Reserve Governor Christopher Waller cooled rate cut hopes, lifting the US Dollar closer to the monthly top and lending support to the USD/JPY pair. 
    • Waller said that hotter-than-expected inflation readings in recent months and the current resilience in the US economy give the Fed substantial headroom to keep rates higher for longer.
    • Traders, however, seem reluctant to place aggressive directional bets and prefer to wait for the release of the US Personal Consumption Expenditures (PCE) Price Index on Friday.
    • The crucial inflation data will play a key role in influencing expectations about the Fed's rate cut path, which, in turn, will drive the USD and provide a fresh impetus to the currency pair.
    • In the meantime, Thursday's US economic docket – featuring the final Q4 GDP print, Weekly Initial Jobless Claims and Pending Home Sales – might produce short-term opportunities.

    Technical Analysis: USD/JPY bulls need to wait for move beyond 152.00 before placing fresh bets

    From a technical perspective, any subsequent move up might continue to confront stiff resistance and remain capped near the 152.00 mark. The said handle should act as a key pivotal point, which if cleared decisively will be seen as a fresh trigger for bullish traders. Given that oscillators on the daily chart are holding in the positive territory, the USD/JPY pair might then prolong its well-established uptrend witnessed since January 2023 and climb further towards the 153.00 round figure.

    On the flip side, the overnight swing low, around the 151.00 mark, now seems to protect the immediate downside. Any further decline is more likely to attract fresh buyers and remain limited near the 150.25 support zone. This is closely followed by the 150.00 psychological mark, which, if broken decisively, could make the USD/JPY pair vulnerable to accelerate the corrective decline further towards the 149.35-149.30 region en route to the 149.00 round figure.


    Japanese Yen FAQs

    The Japanese Yen (JPY) is one of the world’s most traded currencies. Its value is broadly determined by the performance of the Japanese economy, but more specifically by the Bank of Japan’s policy, the differential between Japanese and US bond yields, or risk sentiment among traders, among other factors.

    One of the Bank of Japan’s mandates is currency control, so its moves are key for the Yen. The BoJ has directly intervened in currency markets sometimes, generally to lower the value of the Yen, although it refrains from doing it often due to political concerns of its main trading partners. The current BoJ ultra-loose monetary policy, based on massive stimulus to the economy, has caused the Yen to depreciate against its main currency peers. This process has exacerbated more recently due to an increasing policy divergence between the Bank of Japan and other main central banks, which have opted to increase interest rates sharply to fight decades-high levels of inflation.

    The BoJ’s stance of sticking to ultra-loose monetary policy has led to a widening policy divergence with other central banks, particularly with the US Federal Reserve. This supports a widening of the differential between the 10-year US and Japanese bonds, which favors the US Dollar against the Japanese Yen.

    The Japanese Yen is often seen as a safe-haven investment. This means that in times of market stress, investors are more likely to put their money in the Japanese currency due to its supposed reliability and stability. Turbulent times are likely to strengthen the Yen’s value against other currencies seen as more risky to invest in.


    Disclaimer: For information purposes only. Past performance is not indicative of future results.
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