Japanese yen rebounds, US inflation looms

  • Yen rebounds after two-day slide
  • US inflation expected to drop to 3.0%

The Japanese yen has ended a two-day slide, in which it dropped 1.4% against the US dollar. In Tuesday’s European session, USD/JPY is trading at 145.21, down 0.66%.

Yen volatility continues

The yen has been showing sharp swings since last Thursday, when signals from the Bank of Japan of a possible tightening in policy sent the yen soaring over 2% on Thursday. The yen then reversed directions and gave up much of those gains but has bounced back on Tuesday.

The BoJ meets on December 18-19 in what has become a hotly anticipated event due to recent comments from Governor Kazuo Ueda and BoJ Deputy Governor Ryozo Himino. Ueda spoke of “an even more challenging situation” coming up for the BoJ and Himino mused about the consequences if rates were to rise into positive territory. On Monday, a report that Ueda was not referring to possible changes in rate policy sent the yen sharply lower. The takeaway is that the yen is very sensitive to talk about rate tightening and public comments from BoJ policy makers about rate policy ahead of the December meeting could have a strong impact on the yen’s movement.

US inflation expected to decline to 3.0%

The US releases November CPI later today, with a consensus estimate of 3.0% y/y, down from 3.2% in October. Monthly, CPI is expected to remain flat, unchanged from October. Core CPI, which has been running higher than the headline rate, is projected to remain unchanged at 4.0% y/y. Monthly, the core rate is expected to inch higher to 0.3%, up from 0.2% in October.

It’s a virtual certainty that the Fed will hold rates at a range of 5.25%-5.50% on Wednesday, but today’s inflation release could be a key factor as to what the Fed does in the upcoming months. There is a major disconnect between the markets, which have priced in four rate cuts in 2024, and the Fed, which is insisting that the door remains open to further hikes. A strong inflation report could temper market expectations for rate hikes next year, while a soft inflation release will provide support for the market stance and could force the Fed to reconsider its hawkish position.

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USD/JPY Technical

  • USD/JPY is putting pressure on support at 145.12. Below, there is support at 144.68
  • There is resistance at 145.85 and 146.89

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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.