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USD/JPY – Dollar Tops 102 After Solid Unemployment Claims

The yen tumbled on Wednesday, losing about one cent against the surging US dollar. Thursday finds the pair above the 102 line, the pair’s highest levels in six months. A sharp US Unemployment Claims release helped boost the US dollar. Japanese Retail Sales beat the estimate, but this wasn’t enough to stop the yen from posting sharp losses. We’ll get a look at a host of Japanese indicators on Thursday, including Household Spending and Tokyo Core CPI.

In the US, Unemployment Claims continues to look show improvement, as the key indicator dropped to 316 thousand, its lowest level in two months. This figure easily beat the estimate of 331 thousand. However, the news was not as good from the manufacturing sector, as Core Durable Goods Orders posted a drop of 0.1% for the third month running. The key indicator has not posted a gain since May. Durable Goods was awful, posting a decline of 2.0%, well below the estimate of a 1.5% drop.

For a second straight week, Unemployment Claims came in lower than market expectations, and this has helped the dollar post strong gains against the retreating yen. With increasing speculation about a QE taper, employment releases will remain under the market microscope. If employment numbers continue to improve, we can expect the Fed to scale down QE early in 2014, which would likely give a big boost to the US dollar.

In Japan, Retail Sales gained 2.3% in October, a substantial drop from the gain of 3.1% a month earlier. The reading did edge past the estimate of 2.2%. Retail Sales and other consumer spending indicators will have to point upwards if the Japanese economy is to continue to improve. Meanwhile, the Bank of Japan released the minutes from the last policy meeting, and some policymakers expressed their uneasiness about inflation numbers. Although we are seeing inflation in the economy, there is concern that the Bank’s 2% inflation target may not be met anytime soon. Several of the Bank’s policymakers dissented with some parts of the Bank’s October outlook report, and said that they see a greater downside risk to the economy. These sentiments could weigh on the yen, which continues to struggle.


USD/JPY for Thursday, November 28, 2013

Forex Rate Graph 21/1/13

USD/JPY November 28 at 11:30 GMT

USD/JPY 102.23 H: 102.24 L: 101.94


USD/JPY Technical

S3 S2 S1 R1 R2 R3
100.00 101.19 102.53 103.30 104.17 105.70



Further levels in both directions:


OANDA’s Open Positions Ratio

USD/JPY ratio has reversed directions, pointing to gains in short positions on Thursday trading. This movement is not reflected in the pair’s current movement, as the dollar has posted slight gains against the yen on Thursday. The ratio is close to an even split between long and short positions, which reflects a lack of trader bias as to which direction the pair might take.

The pair continues to trade at high levels, and is enjoying the view above the 102 level. With thin trading due to the holiday in the US, we can expect limited movement during the North American session.


USD/JPY Fundamentals


*Key releases are highlighted in bold

*All release times are GMT


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 [4]

Market Analyst at OANDA [5]
A highly experienced financial market analyst with a focus on fundamental analysis, Kenneth Fisher’s daily commentary covers a broad range of markets including forex, equities and commodities. His work has been published in several major online financial publications including Investing.com, Seeking Alpha and FXStreet. Based in Israel, Kenny has been a MarketPulse contributor since 2012.
Kenny Fisher

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