USD/JPY – Japanese yen steady despite soft US housing data

The Japanese yen has ticked lower in the Wednesday session. In the North American session, USD/JPY is trading at 112.77, down 0.10% on the day. On the release front, U.S housing numbers were softer than expected. Building Permits dropped to 1.27 million, shy of the estimate of 1.33 million. Housing Starts fell sharply to 1.17 million, down from 1.35 million. This was well below the estimate of 1.32 million. Later in the day, Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell testifies before the House Financial Services Committee. Japan will release trade balance, which is expected to rebound with a surplus of JPY 0.15 trillion. On Thursday, the U.S releases the Philly Fed Manufacturing Index and unemployment claims.

Fed Reserve Chair Jerome Powell reaffirmed his positive outlook on the U.S economy in testimony before the Senate Banking Committee. Powell said that he expected the labor market to remain tight and inflation to stay close to the Fed’s target of 2 percent for the next several years. Powell added that the Fed would continue to gradually raise interest rates. Lawmakers appeared satisfied with current monetary policy, but Powell did face some pointed questions regarding the escalating trade war, which has raised concerns that economy could take a downturn if the tariff battles continue.

The escalating global trade war has gripped the markets for weeks, but there was a welcome move in the other direction earlier this week. Japan and the EU signed a free trade agreement, which will eliminate most of the tariffs on trade between the two parties. At the signing ceremony, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and European Council head Donald Tusk said that the deal is a response to growing concerns about protectionism. Although most tariffs between the two sides are low, the agreement will be beneficial for Japanese car makers and European food producers. No less important, the agreement marks the largest free trade agreement in the world, as the EU and Japan cover about one-third of global GDP and some 600 million people.

  USD/JPY advances to six month high post-testimony

Goldilocks economy warrants a Goldilocks Federal Reserve chairperson.

Wednesday (July 18)

  • 8:30 US Building Permits. Estimate 1.33M. Actual 1.27M
  • 8:30 US Housing Starts.  Estimate 1.32M. Actual 1.17M
  • 10:00 US Federal Reserve Jerome Powell Testifies
  • 10:30 US Crude Oil Inventories
  • 14:00 US Beige Book
  • 19:50 Japanese Trade Balance. Estimate 0.15T

Thursday (July 19)

  • 8:30 US Philly Fed Manufacturing Index. Estimate 21.6
  • 8:30 US Unemployment Claims. Estimate 220K

*All release times are DST

*Key events are in bold

USD/JPY for Wednesday, July 18, 2018

USD/JPY July 18 at 11:10 DST

Open: 112.84 High: 112.88 Low: 112.77 Close: 112.76

USD/JPY Technical

S3 S2 S1 R1 R2 R3
110.21 111.22 112.30 113.75 114.73 115.51

USD/JPY inched higher in the Asian session and was flat in the European session. The pair is flat in North American trade

  • 112.30 is providing support
  • 113.75 is the next resistance line

Further levels in both directions:

  • Below: 112.30, 111.22, 110.21 and 109.21
  • Above: 113.75, 114.73 and 115.51
  • Current range: 112.30 to 113.75

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.