USD/JPY – Yen slides to 7-month low after Fed, BOJ meeting next

  • Fed delivers a hawkish pause
  • Bank of Japan meets on Friday
  • Japanese yen falls sharply

The Japanese yen has taken a tumble on Thursday. In the European session, USD/JPY is trading at 141.24, up 0.81%. Earlier today, the yen fell as low as 141.50, its lowest level since November.

Fed pauses but hints at more hikes

The markets had widely expected the Federal Reserve to pause at the Wednesday meeting, especially after a favourable inflation release on Tuesday. Jerome Powell delivered a hawkish pause, as the rate statement signalled more rate hikes were on the way and the Fed revised upwards its growth and inflation projections for the fourth quarter. As well, the dot plot indicated two more small rate hikes this year.

Powell said after the decision that the Fed had not made a decision about the July meeting, in keeping with his stance that each rate decision will be determined based on the data. The markets aren’t buying that and have priced in a 71% probability of a July hike, according to CME FedWatch. Inflation is moving slower, but there’s still a way to go before the 2% target is achieved and the markets expect Powell to keep his foot on the rate pedal after yesterday’s brief time out.

BoJ meets on Friday

The markets will shift their attention to the Bank of Japan, which meets on Friday. The BoJ has been an outlier with regard to rate policy, adhering to an ultra-loose monetary policy. The Bank is expected to maintain key policy settings and may comment on the depreciation of the yen. The currency’s sharp drop on Wednesday triggered verbal intervention from Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirokazu Matsuno, who voiced the standard line that excessive moves in the exchange rate were not desirable. The government has warned in the past that it could intervene to prop up the yen and made good on its threats in December, stunning the markets. If the yen’s slide continues, we can expect more warnings out of Tokyo.


USD/JPY Technical

  • USD/JPY is testing resistance at 141.21.  Above, there is resistance at 141.97
  • There is support at 140.29 and 139.53

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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.