USD/JPY – Japanese Yen Dips on Powell Testimony

The Japanese yen has lost ground in the Tuesday session. In North American trade, USD/JPY is trading at 107.45, up 0.48% on the day. On the release front, BoJ Core Inflation edged up to 0.8%, beating the forecast of 0.6%. In the US, durable goods reports were dismal. Core Durable Goods declined 0.3%, short of the estimate of +0.4%. This marked the second decline in three months. Durable Goods plunged 3.7%, missing the estimate of -2.4%. This reading was the sharpest decline since July. There was better news from CB Consumer Confidence, which improved to 130.8, well above the estimate of 126.2 points. In Washington, Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell made his first appearance before Congress. Later in the day, Japan releases Preliminary Industrial Production and Retail Sales. On Wednesday, the US releases Preliminary GDP, with an estimate of 2.5%.

All eyes were on Jerome Powell on Tuesday, and the new Fed chair played it safe in his written testimony before a congressional committee. Powell said that the Fed would maintain its policy of gradual rate increases, despite the stimulus of government spending and recent tax reform. Powell sounded optimistic about economic conditions, noting that the US economy was benefiting from the global recovery as well as changes in fiscal policy. Importantly, Powell did not address the question of an acceleration of rate hikes. Currently, the Fed has projected three rate hikes in 2018, with a March hike priced in at 87%, according to the CME’s Fed Watch. However, with inflation moving higher and the economy continuing to perform well, many analysts expect the Fed to raise rates four or more times this year. Any hints at an increased pace of rate hikes could send the US dollar broadly higher.

Bank of Japan Governor Harohiko Kuroda was recently reward with a second 5-year term, and has lost no time in defending his monetary policy. Speaking in parliament on Monday, Kuroda said he had no plans to conduct a review as to why the Bank’s massive stimulus program had failed to raise inflation to the target of just under 2 percent. Kuroda said it was “unfortunate” that the target had not been met, but argued that the BoJ’s “powerful” monetary easing had eliminated deflation. Kuroda’s comments were another clear message that the BoJ will not be reducing its massive stimulus program anytime soon. The Japanese economy has rebounded, but inflation has not kept pace, with BoJ core consumer inflation climbing just 0.8% in January.

 

USD/JPY Fundamentals

Tuesday (February 27)

  • 00:00 BoJ Core CPI. Estimate 0.6%. Actual 0.8%
  • 8:30 US Fed Chair Jerome Powell Testifies
  • 8:30 US Core Durable Goods Orders. Estimate +0.4%. Actual -0.3%
  • 8:30 US Fed Chair Jerome Powell Testifies
  • 8:30 US Durable Goods Orders. Estimate -2.4%. Actual -3.7%
  • 8:30 US Goods Trade Balance. Estimate -72.3B. Actual -74.4B
  • 8:30 US Preliminary Wholesale Inventories. Estimate 0.3%. Actual 0.7%
  • 9:00 US HPI. Estimate 0.4%. Actual 0.3%
  • 9:00 US S&P/CS Composite-20 HPI. Estimate 6.3%. Actual 6.3%
  • 10:00 US CB Consumer Confidence. Estimate 126.2. Actual 130.8
  • 10:00 US Richmond Manufacturing Index. Estimate 15. Actual 28
  • 18:50 Japanese Preliminary Industrial Production. Estimate -4.1%
  • 18:50 Japanese Retail Sales. Estimate 2.6%

Wednesday (February 28)

  • 00:00 Japanese Housing Starts. Estimate -4.5%
  • 8:30 US Preliminary GDP. Estimate 2.5%
  • 10:00 US Pending Home Sales. Estimate 0.4%
  • 18:50 Japanese Capital Spending. Estimate 3.1%
  • 19:30 Japanese Final Manufacturing PMI. Estimate 54.0

*All release times are EST

*Key events are in bold

 

USD/JPY for Tuesday, February 27, 2018

USD/JPY February 27 at 11:05 EST

Open: 106.94 High: 107.61 Low: 106.79 Close: 107.61

 

USD/JPY Technical

S3 S2 S1 R1 R2 R3
105.53 106.64 107.29 108.00 109.11 110.48

USD/JPY showed little movement in the Asian session. The pair posted small gains in the European session and continues to move higher in the North American session

  • 107.29 has switched to a support level following gains by USD/JPY on Tuesday
  • 108.00 is the next resistance line

Current range: 107.29 to 108.00

Further levels in both directions:

  • Below: 107.29, 106.64, 105.53 and 104.32
  • Above: 108.00, 109.11 and 110.48

OANDA’s Open Positions Ratios

USD/JPY ratio is showing little movement in the Tuesday session. Currently, long positions have a majority (66%), indicative of trader bias towards USD/JPY continuing to move higher.

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.