The Japanese yen has started the week with sharp losses. In the European session, USD/JPY is trading at 132.54, up 0.86%.
Japan’s GDP expected to rebound
There are high hopes for the Japanese economy, which is expected to climb by 2% in the fourth quarter, following a 0.8% decline in Q3. Japan reopened to tourists in October, which fueled a recovery in the services sector and this will likely boost GDP. Even so, the economy has headwinds to deal with such as higher inflation and a weaker global economy, which will likely weigh on growth in 2023 Q1.
Ueda to take over at BoJ
There has been a guessing game over the successor to Haruhiko Kuroda as Governor of the Bank of Japan and press reports about a successor have generated plenty of volatility from the Japanese yen. Last week, a report that Deputy Governor Masayoshi Amamiya had been approached for the position sent the yen briefly lower, as Amamiya is considered a dove. Amamiya declined the offer and in a surprise move, the BoJ has decided to appoint Kazua Ueda. The news initially resulted in yen buying, as the markets viewed the choice as a signal for fresh thinking and a change in policy.
This view was quickly dampened by Ueda himself, who said on Friday that current policy settings were appropriate. This has sent the yen sharply lower on Monday. Ueda may be trying to sound diplomatic in order to avoid any waves ahead of his appointment, and it’s very possible he will tighten policy once he’s in charge. In the meantime, the BoJ is expected to maintain its ultra-loose policy, so the yen won’t be getting any help from the BoJ for the time being.
- USD/JPY has support at 131.38 and 130.71
- There is resistance at 132.96 and 134.18
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