The Japanese yen has edged higher on Friday. USD/JPY is trading at 113.93, down 0.28% on the day.
Japanese inflation ticks higher
Japan’s CPI edged up by 0.1% y/y in October, identical to the September gain. Higher energy costs were behind the increase, which would have been higher if not for a sharp drop in mobile phone fees. These inflation figures are certainly much more subdued than what we’re seeing in the US and the UK, where inflation has become a hot issue and is affecting monetary policy. Still, rising fuel prices is a major concern for consumers and businesses, and the government’s new economic package is expected to provide some relief. Many businesses have been hit hard by cost pressures, due to the weak yen, supply chain disruptions and high commodity prices. This hasn’t translated into high inflation, as most firms are reluctant to pass on these costs to consumers.
The Japanese yen remains under pressure and is on target for the dubious honour of being the worst-performing G-10 currency in 2021. The increased likelihood of higher US rates and the surge in oil prices have contributed to the weak yen, which climbed close to the 115 level this week. The yen is extremely sensitive to the USD/JPY rate differential, and a rise in US rates could push the yen above the 120 level.
With inflation soaring in the US and the UK, the Fed and BoE are under pressure to tighten policy. There are growing calls for the Fed to accelerate its tapering and the BoE may raise rates next month. It’s a completely different story in Japan, where inflation remains subdued. On Friday, the government unveiled a USD 490 billion stimulus plan, the largest ever in the country’s history. The government is hoping that the plan will kick-start the lethargic Japanese economy.
- There is resistance at 115.02 and 116.15
- USD/JPY is testing support at 114.58. This is followed by support at 113.01
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