USD/JPY – Steady as Markets Eye Fed Statement

USD/JPY is showing little movement on Wednesday, as the pair trades at 120.55 in the North American session. In economic news, Japanese Retail Sales was dismal in September, posting a decline of -0.2%, compared to the estimate of +0.4%. In the US, the markets are nervously awaiting the key event of the week, the Federal Reserve policy statement, which will be released later in the day. In other economic news, the US trade deficit narrowed in September and easily surpassed expectations. The weekly crude oil inventories came in at 3.4 million, shy of the estimate. On Thursday, the US releases two key events – Advance GDP and Unemployment Claims.

The markets are bracing for another dovish statement from the Federal Reserve, which could hurt the US dollar. The Federal Reserve is not expected to raise interest rates, but any hints about a rate hike (which is unlikely) could send the US dollar sharply higher. What the markets would really appreciate is some clarity about its monetary plans. Gone are the days of the indecipherable Fedspeak from Alan Greenspan, whose statements looked like they were written in English but were ambiguous and obtuse in the extreme. At the same time, the current Federal Reserve has failed to communicate effectively with the markets, which continue to receive conflicting signals from Fed policymakers regarding the timing of a rate hike. These mixed messages are no accident, but rather reflect the divisions between voting Fed members with regard to a rate hike. This has led to volatility in the currency markets based on the public remarks of Fed members, even though such comments may be no more than the personal view of that individual, and do not represent actual Fed policy.

US durables, which helps gauge the strength of the manufacturing sector, were dismal in the September reports. Core Durable Goods Orders fell 0.4%, compared to the forecast of 0.0%. It marked the indicator’s first decline in six months. There was no relief from Durable Goods Orders, which posted a sharp decline of 1.2%, although this was within expectations. This was the indicator’s second straight decline, and these weak figures underscore a weak manufacturing sector, which continues to be hampered by weak global demand for US goods. Meanwhile, CB Consumer Confidence softened in October, coming in at 97.6 points, well off the estimate of 102.5 points. Weaker consumer confidence could translate into less spending by the US consumer, which would be bad news for the economy.


USD/JPY Fundamentals

Wednesday (Oct. 28)

  • 12:30 US Goods Trade Balance. Estimate -64.9B. Actual -58.6 B
  • 14:30 US Crude Oil Inventories. Estimate 3.7M. Actual 3.4M
  • 18:00 FOMC Statement
  • 18:00 Federal Funds Rate. Estimate <0.25%


Upcoming Events

Thursday (Oct. 29)

  • 12:30 US Advance GDP. Estimate 1.6%   
  • 12:30 US Unemployment Claims. Estimate 264K


USD/JPY for Wednesday, October 28, 2015

USD/JPY October 28 at 16:50 GMT

USD/JPY 120.55 H: 120.59 L: 120.24


USD/JPY Technical

S3 S2 S1 R1 R2 R3
116.90 118.53 120.40 121.50 122.40 123.74
  • USD/JPY has shown limited movement throughout the day.
  • 120.40 is a weak support level.
  • 121.50 is a strong resistance line.
  • Current range: 120.40 to 121.50

Further levels in both directions:

  • Below: 120.40, 118.53, 116.90, and 115.90
  • Above: 121.50, 122.40 and 123.74


OANDA’s Open Positions Ratio

USD/JPY ratio is unchanged on Wednesday, as long positions retain a commanding majority (59%). This is indicative of trader bias towards the pair moving to higher ground.

This article is for general information purposes only. It is not investment advice or a solution to buy or sell securities. Opinions are the authors; not necessarily that of OANDA Corporation or any of its affiliates, subsidiaries, officers or directors. Leveraged trading is high risk and not suitable for all. You could lose all of your deposited funds.

Kenny Fisher

Kenny Fisher

Currency Analyst at Market Pulse
Kenny Fisher joined OANDA in 2012 as a Currency Analyst. Kenny writes a daily column about current economic and political developments affecting the major currency pairs, with a focus on fundamental analysis. Kenny began his career in forex at Bendix Foreign Exchange in Toronto, where he worked as a Corporate Account Manager for over seven years.