Japanese yen shrugs after solid data

The yen has been drifting for most of the week and the trend is continuing today. USD/JPY is almost unchanged at 144.32.

Japanese data surprises on the upside

Japan has released strong industrial production and retail sales data, a further indication that the Japanese economy is improving. Industrial production rose for a third straight month in August, climbing 2.7% MoM. This was up from 0.8% in July and crushing the consensus of 0.2%. Retail sales for August jumped 4.1% YoY, above the consensus of 2.8% and higher than the 2.4% gain in July. Retail sales have posted 10 gains in the past 11 months, indicative of solid consumer spending, despite Japan’s weak economy and households grappling with relatively high inflation.

It was a wild week for most of the majors, but the Japanese yen has settled down after USD/JPY pushed close to the 145 line on Monday. Japan’s stunning currency intervention has kept the yen below the 145 line, but it’s difficult to imagine that unilateral action will succeed in stemming the yen’s prolonged descent, for two reasons.

First, the Federal Reserve is likely to deliver large rate increases in October and November. With the Bank of Japan showing no indication that it will ease up on yield curve control, the US/Japan rate differential will widen and send the yen lower. Second, the yen is caught in a tug-of-war between the MoF, which wants to see a stronger yen, and the BoJ, which is focused on maintaining an ultra-accommodative policy, which has kept JGB yields at low levels and weighed on the yen. If the yen does fall below 145, things will get very interesting, as the ball will be squarely in the court of the MoF, which will have to decide whether to balk or step in with another intervention.


USD/JPY Technical

  • There is resistance at 144.81 and 146.06
  • USD/JPY has support at 143.21 and 141.88

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Kenny Fisher

Kenny Fisher

Market Analyst at OANDA
A highly experienced financial market analyst with a focus on fundamental and macroeconomic analysis, Kenny Fisher’s daily commentary covers a broad range of markets including forex, equities and commodities. His work has been published in major online financial publications including Investing.com, Seeking Alpha and FXStreet. Kenny has been a MarketPulse contributor since 2012.