USD/JPY steady as BOJ watches with sense of urgency

Japanese yen remains below 160

USD/JPY is trading at 160.38 early in the North American session, down 0.25% on the day. The Japanese yen has been trading below 160 on Thursday, after dropping as low as 160.87 on Wednesday, its lowest level since December 1986.

As the yen continues to hit new lows, there are concerns of another intervention from the Bank of Japan in order to stem the currency’s rapid depreciation. The BoJ is believed to have intervened on April 29, when the yen fell as low as 160.20 and again on May 1, selling some $61 billion and purchasing yen. The first intervention boosted the yen by 1.25% and the second by 2%. However, the moves haven’t had a lasting effect and all of the yen’s gains have been wiped out.

Predictably, Japanese officials have warned that they will take action and Japan’s top currency diplomat Masato Kanda said on Wednesday that the yen’s rapid deprecation was a “serious concern” and that he was monitoring events with a “heightened sense of urgency”.

The verbal intervention is unlikely to have much effect, given that actual intervention has failed to stem the yen’s rapid decline. Japan’s interest rates are around zero and with the Federal Reserve not lowering rates before September at the earliest, the US/Japan rate differential will remain wide. It could be a miserable summer for the Japanese yen.

There was some good news as Japan’s retail sales rose 3.0% y/y in May, up from a revised 2.4% gain in April and blowing past the market estimate of 2.0%. This marked a 26th straight month of expansion, as higher wages have fueled stronger consumer spending.
USD/JPY Technical

  • USD/JPY is testing support at 160.43. Below, there is support at 160.00
  • There is resistance at 161.26 and 161.69

Content is for general information purposes only. It is not investment advice or a solution to buy or sell securities. Opinions are the authors; not necessarily that of OANDA Business Information & Services, Inc. or any of its affiliates, subsidiaries, officers or directors. If you would like to reproduce or redistribute any of the content found on MarketPulse, an award winning forex, commodities and global indices analysis and news site service produced by OANDA Business Information & Services, Inc., please access the RSS feed or contact us at Visit to find out more about the beat of the global markets. © 2023 OANDA Business Information & Services Inc.

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.