The Japanese Yen kicks off the new week on a stronger note and touches a three-month high against the USD.
A combination of factors tempers investors’ appetite for riskier assets and boosts demand for the safe-haven JPY.
Dovish Fed expectations, falling US bond yields undermine the USD and exert downward pressure on USD/JPY.
The Japanese Yen (JPY) adds to Friday’s strong gains against the US Dollar (USD) and kicks off the new week on a positive note, dragging the USD/JPY pair to a near three-week low, around the 146.25-146.20 region during the Asian session. Escalating conflict in the Middle East, along with fears of another COVID-19-like respiratory illness outbreak in China, tempers investors’ appetite for riskier assets. This comes on the back of speculations about a major shift in the Bank of Japan’s (BoJ) policy stance early next year and turns out to be a key factor that is seen boosting the JPY’s relative safe-haven status.
The JPY bulls, meanwhile, seem rather unaffected by the recent less-hawkish comments by BoJ policymakers, saying that it was premature to debate an exit from negative interest rates. The USD, on the other hand, continues to be undermined by rising bets that the Federal Reserve (Fed) will maintain the status quo at the December policy meeting and start cutting interest rates by the first half of 2024. Even Fed Chair Jerome Powell’s attempts on last Friday to moderate rate-cut expectations did little to provide any respite to the buck or ease the bearish pressure surrounding the USD/JPY pair.
Market participants now look to important US macro data scheduled at the beginning of a new month, including the closely-watched US monthly jobs report, or the Nonfarm Payrolls data, due on Friday for some meaningful impetus. Nevertheless, the aforementioned fundamental backdrop suggests that the path of least resistance for the USD/JPY pair is to the downside. This, in turn, supports prospects for an extension of the recent sharp pullback from the 152.00 neighbourhood, or the YTD peak touched in November amid Monday’s thin US economic docket, featuring the only release of Factory Orders data.
A US destroyer and three commercial ships operating in the Red Sea came under drone and ballistic-missile attacks on Sunday.
Responsibility for the latest incursion was claimed by Iran-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen.
This comes after Israel’s warplanes pounded Gaza on Friday and talks to extend a week-old truce with Hamas collapsed, and marks a major increase in maritime aggression linked to the prolonged war.
China’s hospitals have been flooded with cases of respiratory illnesses and sick children complaining of pneumonia-like symptoms, leading to increased scrutiny from the World Health Organisation (WHO).
The Chinese health ministry said on Saturday that the respiratory illness is caused by known pathogens and there is no sign of new infectious diseases and recommended reducing large gatherings in public places.
BoJ board member Noguchi spoke over the weekend to convey that there is no imminent policy pivot in sight as the rise in inflation is mostly due to cost-push factors amid higher import prices.
Noguchi added that although annual spring wage negotiations this year achieved hikes unseen in 30 years, they have just reached a stage where the possibility of achieving the 2% inflation target has come into sight.
Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell said on last Friday it would be premature to conclude with confidence that they have achieved a sufficiently restrictive stance or to speculate on when policy might ease.
Investors, however, seem convinced with the idea that the Fed is done with the string of rate hikes and will soon move to an easing posture in 2024, which leads to a further decline in the US bond yields.
The yield on the benchmark 10-year US government bond languishes near a 12-week low and continues to undermine the US Dollar, exerting some downward pressure on the USD/JPY pair on Monday.
Traders now look to the US Factory Orders data for some impetus ahead of the Tokyo CPI on Tuesday and this week’s other important US macro data scheduled at the beginning of a new month, including the NFP report on Friday.
From a technical perspective, the recent failure ahead of the 152.00 mark constituted the formation of a bearish double-top pattern on the daily chart. A subsequent break and close below the 100-day Simple Moving Average (SMA) on Friday further validates the near-term negative outlook for the USD/JPY pair. Spot prices, however, find some support near the 146.20 area, which represents the 38.2% Fibonacci retracement level of the July-October rally and should act as a key pivotal point. Given that oscillators on the daily chart are holding deep in the negative territory, some follow-through selling should drag the pair further towards the 145.45-145.40 intermediate support en route to the 145.00 psychological mark and the 50% Fibo. level, around mid-144.00s.
On the flip side, any attempted recovery might now confront stiff resistance and meet with a fresh supply near the 147.00 mark. This, in turn, should cap the USD/JPY pair near the 100-day SMA support breakpoint, currently pegged near the 147.30-147.35 region. A sustained strength beyond, however, could trigger a short-covering rally and allow spot prices to reclaim the 148.00 round figure. The momentum could get extended further towards the 148.25-148.30 region.
Japanese Yen price today
The table below shows the percentage change of Japanese Yen (JPY) against listed major currencies today. Japanese Yen was the weakest against the US Dollar.
The heat map shows percentage changes of major currencies against each other. The base currency is picked from the left column, while the quote currency is picked from the top row. For example, if you pick the Euro from the left column and move along the horizontal line to the Japanese Yen, the percentage change displayed in the box will represent EUR (base)/JPY (quote).
Japanese Yen FAQs
What key factors drive the Japanese Yen?
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.
How do the decisions of the Bank of Japan impact the Japanese Yen?
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.
How does the differential between Japanese and US bond yields impact the Japanese Yen?
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.
How does broader risk sentiment impact 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.
Information on these pages contains forward-looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties. Markets and instruments profiled on this page are for informational purposes only and should not in any way come across as a recommendation to buy or sell in these assets. You should do your own thorough research before making any investment decisions. FXStreet does not in any way guarantee that this information is free from mistakes, errors, or material misstatements. It also does not guarantee that this information is of a timely nature. Investing in Open Markets involves a great deal of risk, including the loss of all or a portion of your investment, as well as emotional distress. All risks, losses and costs associated with investing, including total loss of principal, are your responsibility. The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of FXStreet nor its advertisers. The author will not be held responsible for information that is found at the end of links posted on this page.
If not otherwise explicitly mentioned in the body of the article, at the time of writing, the author has no position in any stock mentioned in this article and no business relationship with any company mentioned. The author has not received compensation for writing this article, other than from FXStreet.
FXStreet and the author do not provide personalized recommendations. The author makes no representations as to the accuracy, completeness, or suitability of this information. FXStreet and the author will not be liable for any errors, omissions or any losses, injuries or damages arising from this information and its display or use. Errors and omissions excepted.
The author and FXStreet are not registered investment advisors and nothing in this article is intended to be investment advice.