Is the yen making a comeback?

After a brutal slide over the past two months, the Japanese yen is showing some bounce in its step.

Japanese yen bounces back

The yen registered 10 straight losing weeks but finally ended that nasty streak last week, with gains of about one per cent. Barring any surprises today, the yen will repeat with another strong week. On Thursday, USD/JPY dropped to 127.02, its lowest level since late April.

Has the yen turned the corner?

The US dollar pummelled the yen in the months of March and April, and earlier this month USD/JPY touched 131.34, its highest level in some 20 years. The yen’s descent was rapid and drew warnings from the BoJ and Japan’s Ministry of Finance. There was speculation that the exchange rate was nearing an unknown ‘line in the sand’, which if breached, would trigger an intervention to prop up the yen (clearly, 130 was not that line in the sand).

The yen’s movement is largely dependent on the US/Japan rate differential. With the BoJ showing no hesitation to intervene in order to defend its yield curve, the yen has been at the mercy of the direction of US yields. Over the past few months, yields have been generally going up, which has pushed the yen sharply lower. The Federal Reserve remains in aggressive mode, but with concerns of stagflation and a possible recession, the Fed may have to ease up on the pace and size of its rate hikes, which would weigh on US yields, thus boosting the yen. The recent turbulence in the stock markets, which has seen equities fall sharply, has benefited the yen, which traditionally acts as a safe-haven asset.

The yen may have flexed some muscle, but I would still consider yen risk tilted to the downside. The US economy remains in good shape, and the US dollar is also a safe-haven asset. If the Ukraine war continues to cause increases in energy and food prices, risk appetite would fall and investors would likely flock to the safety of the US dollar.

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USD/JPY Technical

  • USD/JPY is testing resistance at 1.2938, followed by resistance at 1.3123
  • There is support at 1.3000 and 1.2918

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 Investing.com, Seeking Alpha and FXStreet. Based in Israel, Kenny has been a MarketPulse contributor since 2012.
Kenny Fisher

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