USD/JPY – Surging Dollar Punches Above 118 Yen

USD/JPY continues to gain ground early in the New Year, having posted gains in the Tuesday session. Currently, the pair is trading at 118.30. Japanese markets are closed for a fourth straight day, so there are no Japanese events on the schedule. In the US, today’s key event is ISM Manufacturing PMI, with the indicator expected to rise to 53.7 points. On Wednesday, the Federal Reserve will publish the minutes of its last policy meeting.

The Federal Reserve will be back on center stage on Wednesday, with the release of the minutes from the December policy meeting, when the Fed finally raised rates for the first time since December 2015. Analysts will be combing through the minutes, looking for clues regarding future monetary policy. The US economy is performing very well, and the markets are hopeful that this continues as Donald Trump takes office. Trump’s economic policies remain sketchy, although he has promised to increase fiscal spending while lowering taxes. If the economy’s positive momentum continues in early 2017, the Fed could be inclined to raise rates another quarter point in order to prevent the economy from overheating. A rate hike would likely lead to broad gains for the US dollar.

The New Year hasn’t brought much cheer to the Japanese yen. The currency has slipped 1.7% since December 30, and USD/JPY is trading at 2-week highs. The currency plunged 14.7 percent in the fourth quarter, as the US dollar took full advantage of a strong US economy and a hawkish Federal Reserve, which raised interest rates in December. The Japanese economy continues to struggle, and last week’s key consumer indicators pointed to continuing weakness in inflation and spending. Household Spending declined 1.5%, marking a ninth straight decline. The markets had predicted a small gain of 0.2%. The Japanese economy continues to grapple with deflation, as Tokyo Core CPI continues to post declines. If the US economy continues to heat up in 2017, we could see the Fed step in with further rate hikes, which would likely push the yen to even lower levels.

Tuesday (January 3)

  • 9:45 US Final Manufacturing PMI. Estimate 54.2
  • 10:00 US ISM Manufacturing PMI. Estimate 53.7
  • 10:00 US Construction Spending. Estimate 0.5%
  • 10:00 US ISM Manufacturing Prices. Estimate 55.6

Wednesday (January 4)

  • 14:00 US FOMC Meeting Minutes

*All release times are GMT

*Key events are in bold

USD/JPY for Tuesday, January 3, 2017

USD/JPY January 3 at 6:30 EST

Open: 117.45 High: 118.20 Low: 117.28 Close: 118.32

USD/JPY Technical

S3 S2 S1 R1 R2 R3
115.88 116.88 118.05 118.85 119.83 121.39
  • USD/JPY was flat in the Asian session but has posted sharp gains in European trade
  • 118.05 has switched to a support role
  • 118.85 is the next line of resistance
  • Current range: 118.05 to 118.85

Further levels in both directions:

  • Below: 118.05, 116.88, 115.88 and 114.83
  •  Above: 118.85, 119.83 and 121.39

OANDA’s Open Positions Ratio

USD/JPY ratio is almost unchanged in the Tuesday session. Short positions have a majority (57%), indicative of trader bias towards USD/JPY reversing directions and moving to lower 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.