- Tokyo Core CPI expected to drop from 2.8% to 2.6%
- Japanese yen steadies after slide
The Japanese yen has stemmed a 3-day slide, in which it declined around 1.5% against the US dollar. In the European session, USD/JPY is trading at 149.31, down 0.23%. In the US, third estimate GDP for the second quarter is expected to be revised lower to 2.1%.
Tokyo Core CPI expected to decelerate
Japan will release Tokyo Core CPI on Friday. The core rate, a key inflation gauge, is expected to ease to 2.6% y/y in August, down from 2.8% y/y in September. Core inflation has remained above the Bank of Japan’s 2% inflation target for 15 consecutive months, which seems to indicate broad inflationary pressure. Still, Governor Ueda has said he will not phase out massive monetary stimulus, arguing that wages need to rise in order ensure that inflation remains sustainable around 2%. Japan’s weak economy is making it easier for the BoJ to maintain its ultra-easy policy, and Friday’s inflation release won’t change the BoJ’s stance.
The Japanese yen has paid the price for the BoJ’s insistence on maintaining an ultra-loose policy and has had only one winning week against the dollar since July. The US/Japan rate differential continues to rise as Japanese yields stay put while US Treasury yields continue to move higher. USD/JPY is close to the 150 line and could breach it shortly. This will put pressure on Tokyo to intervene in the currency markets to prop up the ailing Japanese currency.
The US dollar is having an off day against the major currencies on Thursday, but the greenback has looked sharp against the majors lately. The markets are concerned that interest rates could remain higher for longer, as the US economy has been showing signs of resilience. Oil prices have hit $93 and are contributing to higher inflation – In August, US CPI rose from 3.3% to .3.7%. The futures markets have priced in a rate hike before the end of the year at 36.5%, which means the markets are uncertain if interest rates have peaked.
- There is resistance at 149.19 and 149.93
- USD/JPY tested support at 148.79 earlier. Below, there is support at 148.05
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