USD/JPY has started the week with slight gains. In Monday’s North American session, the pair is trading at 108.31, down 0.19% on the day. It’s a very light day on the release front. The sole Japanese event is M2 Money Supply, which edged up to 2.4%. There are no U.S. indicators, so the yen is likely to remain subdued during the day. On Tuesday, the U.S. releases PPI reports.
Risk appetite has improved of late, and the yen rally paused last week, as investors sought out risk assets rather than the safe-haven yen. On Monday, China released unexpectedly weak data, with exports down 4.4 percent from a year earlier and imports plunging 7.6 percent. The slowdown in China has taken a toll on corporate profits, with Apple and Jaguar Land Rover posting revenue warnings. Investors will be keeping a close eye on Chinese numbers, and further signs of a slowdown from the world’s second largest economy could raise risk apprehension and bolster the Japanese yen. The yen appears to have further upside potential, as USD/JPY tested the 105 level last week, for the time since March 2018.
The U.S. dollar remains under pressure, as the markets digest the Federal Reserve’s new dovish stance. Fed Chair Powell is now preaching prudence and patience, and the minutes from the Fed’s December meeting, released Wednesday, noted that low inflation levels meant that the Fed could “afford to be patient about further policy firming”. Even more striking, the minutes revealed that at the December meeting, some policymakers opposed a rate hike, arguing that inflation was too low to warrant higher rates. On Thursday, Fed Chair Jerome Powell said he was “very worried” about the massive U.S. debt and reiterated that the Fed would remain patient on monetary policy. Given that further interest rate hikes would hurt the debt burden of corporate borrowers, Powell’s remarks on the debt could be a sign that the Fed will take a pause on rate hikes in the near future, and perhaps even entertain a rate cut this year. The sharp U-turn on monetary policy by the Fed could continue to weigh on the U.S dollar for the near future, and that could spell gains for the yen.
Monday (January 14)
- 18:50 Japanese M2 Money Supply. Estimate 2.4%
Tuesday (January 15)
- 00:58 Japanese Preliminary Machine Tool Orders
- 8:30 US PPI. Estimate -0.1%
- 8:30 US Core PPI. Estimate 0.2%
- 8:30 US Empire State Manufacturing Index. Estimate 11.6
*All release times are EST
*Key events are in bold
USD/JPY for Monday, January 14, 2019
USD/JPY January 14 at 10:55 EST
Open: 108.51 High: 108.56 Low: 107.99 Close: 108.31
USD/JPY edged lower in the Asian session and showed limited movement in European trade. The pair has posted slight in the North American session
- 108.11 was tested earlier in support. It remains a weak line
- 109.37 is the next resistance line
- Current range: 108.11 to 109.37
Further levels in both directions:
- Below: 108.11, 106.88, 105.66 and 104.64
- Above: 109.37, 110.28 and 110.95
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