Japanese yen correction continues

  • Japanese yen’s slide continues
  • Markets walk back expectations of a change at BoJ December meeting
  • US nonfarm payrolls rise to 199,000, better than expected

The Japanese yen has started the week where it left off on Friday, posting sharp losses. In the European session, USD/JPY is trading at 146.16, up 0.83%.

BoJ December mania wanes

The yen soared over 2% on Thursday, after comments by senior BoJ officials triggered speculation that Bank of Japan might exit negative interest rates at the December 18-19 meeting. BoJ officials are usually tight-lipped about any plans to change policy and last week’s signals were quickly picked up by investors and sent the yen flying. The BoJ has expressed concern over the depreciating yen and last week’s comments from Governor Kazuo Ueda and BoJ Deputy Governor Ryozo Himino may have been a coordinated move to boost the Japanese currency.

The yen’s jump did not last long, as the US dollar has bounced back and recovered more than half of Thursday’s losses. The rally suffered a reversal on Friday after an anonymous source said that Ueda’s comments that the BoJ was facing “an even more challenging situation” in December and next year were taken out of context and were not meant as a signal of a policy shift.

What is noteworthy is that the strong swings we are seeing from the yen are completely based on speculation – last week’s BoJ comments raised expectations of a move at the December meeting and sent the yen higher. This was followed on Friday by an anonymous source that poured cold water on an imminent policy shift and sent the yen lower.

The weak Japanese economy is providing support for the view that the BoJ will not make any moves at the December meeting. Last week’s soft Q3 GDP reading, in which GDP contracted by 2.9% y/y is further reason for the central bank not to tighten until the economy shows signs of improvement.

Nonfarm payrolls beat expectations

Friday’s US nonfarm payrolls came in at 199 thousand in November, above the market consensus of 180,000 and higher than the October gain of 150,000. Unemployment dropped from 3.9% to 3.7% and average hourly earnings rose to 0.4% m/m, up from 0.2% in October and above the market consensus of 0.3%. The strong data points to a resilient labour market despite signs that the economy is cooling down, and has reduced fears of recession.


USD/JPY Technical

  • USD/JPY is testing resistance at 145.89. This is followed by resistance at 146.91
  • There is support at 144.68 and 143.69

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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.