- Japanese yen falls below 150 line
- US GDP jumps 4.9%
The Japanese yen is down slightly on Thursday, and the drop was enough to send the yen below the key 150 line. In the North American session, USD/JPY is trading at 150.33, up 0.08%.
Japanese yen breaches 150, is intervention next?
The Japanese yen has been hovering just shy of the 150 line for two weeks and it seemed just a matter of time before it would break below this symbolic but critical level. Sure enough, the yen breached 150 on Wednesday and again on Thursday, falling to a one-year low of 150.77 earlier in today’s Asian session.
The Bank of Japan tends to be mum about its plans, making it difficult to ascertain if 150 is indeed a line in the sand. The BoJ has said in the past that it is more concerned with the yen’s volatility rather than a particular exchange rate level. The Japanese government has again resorted to jawboning, warning investors on Thursday not to sell yen. Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Hideki Murai said that “excess volatility is undesirable” but didn’t say if Japan would intervene in the currency markets to prop up the yen.
The last time the yen broke above 150 was October 3rd, at which time the yen recovered and spiked lower. The BoJ refused to announce if it had intervened, although an examination of the BoJ data suggests that there was no currency intervention.
US GDP soars to 4.9%
All signs pointed to a strong US GDP report for the third quarter, but the gain of 4.9% y/y blew past the 4.3% market consensus and beat the Q2 reading of 2.1%. Consumer spending, a key driver of GDP, rose from 0.8% to 4.0% in the third quarter and exports rose 6.2%, bouncing back from -9.3% in the second quarter. Interestingly, the red-hot GDP release did not result in higher odds for a rate hike before the end of the year, which are currently at 24%, down from 27% prior to the GDP report.
- USD/JPY tested resistance at 150.49 earlier. Above, there is resistance at 150.99
- 150.17 is under pressure in support. Below, there is support at 149.67
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