USD/JPY soars as BoJ scraps negative rates

The Japanese yen has taken a tumble on Tuesday. In the North American session, USD/JPY is trading at 150.67, up 1.02%.

BoJ lifts rates, end yield curve control

The Bank of Japan hiked interest rates for the first time since 2007 at today’s meeting and also abolished the yield control curve to target interest rate at specific levels. There was a strong possibility that the BoJ might wait until April to tighten policy, but the fact that the BoJ did not deny media reports that the central bank would act today meant that the markets were not shocked that the move occurred today.

Interestingly, the yen has nosedived despite the BoJ tightening policy. This can be explained by the fact that the BoJ may have ended negative rates but the move was small, as rates have risen from -0.1% to a range of 0%-0.1%. This means that today’s rate hike did little to narrow the US/Japan interest rate differential.

The BoJ’s announcement made huge headlines but at the end of the day the central bank kept a dovish tone, which also weighed on the yen. Governor Ueda stressed that the BoJ’s monetary policy will remain accommodative, even with the end of negative rates.

Ueda noted that “there is still some distance to 2%, which would require maintaining an accommodative policy”. This means that the BoJ will not be entering a tightening cycle with a series of hikes as we’ve seen with the other major central banks in their battle to tame inflation.

In the US, it’s a very light week, with no tier-1 events on the data calendar. The markets will be keeping a close eye on the Federal Reserve’s rate announcement on Wednesday. The Fed is virtually certain to maintain the benchmark rate of 5%-5.25%, and investors will be combing the rate statement for any insights about a date for an initial rate cut.

USD/JPY Technical

  • USD/JPY has pushed above resistance at 149.98, which was protecting the 150 line. Above, there is resistance at 150.92
  • 148.24 and 147.30 are providing support

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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, Seeking Alpha and FXStreet. Kenny has been a MarketPulse contributor since 2012.