USD/JPY – Dollar Sets Sights on 120

USD/JPY is showing little movement on Wednesday, as the pair trades in the mid-119, within striking distance of the psychologically important 120 level. On the release front, ADP Nonfarm Employment Change slipped to 208 thousand, well off expectations. Later in the day, we’ll get a look at ISM Non-Manufacturing PMI. The markets are expecting a slight improvement in the November release, with an estimate of 57.5 points. There are no Japanese releases on Wednesday.

The Japanese yen continues its disappearing act, as USD/JPY has its sights on the 120 level, which hasn’t been breached since July 2007. On Monday, the yen lost ground after a weak report from Average Cash Earnings, which slipped to 0.8% in October, short of the forecast of 0.5%. The softer reading points to less disposable income for the Japanese worker, which means a drop in consumer spending, an important engine of economic growth. On Monday, the Moody’s rating agency downgraded Japan’s debt from Aa3 to A1, citing “heightened uncertainty” over the ability of the government to reduce the debt. The downgrade is seen as a response to Prime Minister Abe’s decision to delay a sales tax hike and the negative GDP reading, which means that the country is officially in a recession.

US jobless claims did not impress, as ADP Nonfarm Employment Change fell to 208 thousand, down from 230 thousand in the previous release. This was well short of the estimate of 223 thousand. We’ll get a look at the official Nonfarm Employment Change report on Friday, with the markets expecting a strong reading of 231 thousand. Will the indicator meet or  beat expectations?

The US manufacturing sector continues to expand, as ISM Manufacturing PMI remained strong in November. The index came in at 58.7 points, close to the previous release of 59.0 points, which marked a three-year high. The positive US manufacturing data stands in sharp contrast to the situation in the Eurozone and China. In the Eurozone, manufacturing PMIs in France, Germany and Italy contracted in November. In China, the world’s second largest economy, Manufacturing PMI edged down to 50.3 points, down from the previous reading of 50.8 points.

USD/JPY for Wednesday, December 3, 2014

USD/JPY December 3 at 14:00 GMT

USD/JPY 119.36 H: 119.48 L: 119.13


USD/JPY Technical

S3 S2 S1 R1 R2 R3
116.66 117.94 118.89 119.93 20.63 121.39


  • USD/JPY has shown limited movement throughout the day.
  • 118.89 is a strong support level.
  • 119.93 is an immediate resistance line.
  • Current range: 118.89 to 119.93

Further levels in both directions:

  • Below: 118.89, 117.94, 116.66, 115.75 and 114.65
  • Above: 119.83, 120.63, 121.39 and 122.18


OANDA’s Open Positions Ratio

USD/JPY ratio is pointing to gains in short positions on Wednesday, reversing the direction seen a day earlier. This is not consistent with the pair’s movement, as the yen has posted small gains. The ratio has a majority of long positions, indicative of trader bias towards the dollar moving to higher ground.

USD/JPY Fundamentals

  • 13:15 US ADP Nonfarm Employment Change. Estimate 223K. Actual 208K.
  • 13:30 US Revised Nonfarm Productivity. Estimate 2.3%. Actual 2.3%.
  • 13:30 US Revised Unit Labor Costs. Estimate 0.3%. Actual -1.0%.
  • 14:45 US Final Services PMI. Estimate 56.3 points.
  • 15:00 ISM Non-Manufacturing PMI. Estimate 57.5 points.
  • 15:30 US Crude Oil Inventories. Estimate 1.1M.
  • 17:30 US FOMC Member Charles Plosser Speaks.
  • 19:00 US Beige Book.
  • 19:00 US FOMC Member Lael Brainard Speaks.

*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

Market Analyst at OANDA
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, Seeking Alpha and FXStreet. Based in Israel, Kenny has been a MarketPulse contributor since 2012.
Kenny Fisher

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