USD/JPY – Yen Dips as US Jobless Claims Dives

USD/JPY has posted gains in the Thursday session, as the pair trades just below the 111 level in the North American session. On the release front, Japanese Consumer Confidence improved to 43.9, above the forecast of 43.5 points. In the US, unemployment claims dropped to 234 thousand, its lowest level in five weeks. On Friday, US job numbers will be in focus, with the release of three key indicators – Nonfarm Employment Change, Average Hourly Earnings and the unemployment rate.

The Japanese consumer remains pessimistic about the economy, as the latest consumer confidence survey came in at 43.9 points for March. Although this reading improved over the February release of 43.1, a release below the 50-point level points to pessimism. There are some bright points in the economy, as manufacturing and export numbers are pointing higher. At the same time, domestic consumption remains soft and inflation levels remain well below the BoJ’s target of 2.0% percent. The BoJ’s preferred inflation indicator, BoJ Core CPI, remains weak and dipped to 0.1 percent. With inflation at low levels, the Bank of Japan is in no rush to tighten monetary policy.

There were no surprises from the minutes of the Fed March policy meeting. At that meeting, the Fed raised rates a quarter-point to 0.75%, but the dovish rate statement disappointed the markets, triggering broad losses for the US dollar. In the minutes, policymakers noted upside risk to the US economy, but remained divided on whether inflation will rise to the Fed target of 2.0%. Most policymakers were in favor of taking steps to trim the $4.5 trillion balance sheet, which has ballooned since the Fed implemented its aggressive quantitative easing program back in 2008. So what’s next for the Fed? According to the CME’s Fed Watch, the odds of a rate hike at the May meeting are just 5 percent, while the likelihood of a rate hike in June stand at 63 percent. Fed policymakers appear divided on how many more times the Fed will press the rate trigger. Last week, FOMC member Eric Rosengren called for three more hikes, saying the Fed should raise rates in June, September and December. Rosengren said that employment and inflation levels were close to the Fed’s targets, and that three additional hikes were needed in order to prevent the US economy from overheating. However, a majority of FOMC members are in favor of just two more hikes this year.

USD/JPY Fundamentals

Thursday (April 6)

  • 1:02 Japanese Consumer Confidence. Estimate 43.5. Actual 43.9
  • 7:30 US Challenger Job Cuts. Actual -2.0%
  • 8:30 US Unemployment Claims. Actual 251K. Actual 234K
  • 10:30 US Natural Gas Storage. Estimate 10B. Actual 2B
  • 20:00 Japanese Average Cash Earnings. Estimate 0.5%

Friday (April 7)

  • 1:02 Japanese Leading Indicators. Estimate 104.7%
  • 8:30 US Average Hourly Earnings. Estimate 0.2%
  • 8:30 US Nonfarm Employment Change. Estimate 174K
  • 8:30 US Unemployment Rate. Estimate 4.7%

*All release times are GMT

*Key events are in bold

USD/JPY for Thursday, April 6, 2017

USD/JPY April 6 at 11:10 EST

Open: 110.39 High: 111.00 Low: 110.28 Close: 110.93

USD/JPY Technical

S3 S2 S1 R1 R2 R3
107.49 108.54 109.77 110.94 112.57 113.80

USD/JPY has been flat in the Asian session. The pair posted gains in European trade and is steady in the North American session

  • 109.77 is providing support
  • 110.94 was tested earlier in resistance and is under strong pressure
  • Current range: 109.77 to 110.94

Further levels in both directions:

  • Below: 109.77, 108.54 and 107.49
  •  Above: 110.94, 112.57, 113.80 and 114.83

OANDA’s Open Positions Ratio

USD/JPY ratio is showing slight gains in short positions. Currently, long positions have a majority (63%), indicative of trader bias towards USD/JPY continuing to move upwards.

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.