The Japanese yen has awoken from this week’s slumber and is sharply higher on Thursday. In the European session, USD/JPY is trading at 130.96, down 1.16%.
BOJ may be planning review of policy
The BOJ has been in the headlines since the December meeting when it widened the band around its 10-year bond yield target. The move caught the markets flat-footed and the yen gained a staggering 3.8% the same day. The central bank meets on January 17th and 18th and investors will be keeping a close eye on the meeting.
There have been reports that the BOJ will raise its inflation forecast at the meeting, and the Yomiuri newspaper reported today that the BOJ will review the side effects of its ultra-loose policy and could take measures to address distortions in the yield curve. The yen has soared in response to this latest report, as any steps towards normalization are bullish for the yen. Will the upcoming meeting be as dramatic as what we experienced in December? That would be a high bar to reach, but the meeting should be treated as a market-mover.
There is a feeling of optimism ahead of today’s US inflation report. The forecast is for inflation to continue to fall, which is exactly what investors want to hear. The consensus for headline inflation stands at 6.5%, following the November gain of 7.1%. The core rate is also expected to ease, with a forecast of 5.7% in December, compared to 6.0% in November. If inflation, particularly the core rate, falls as expected, the US dollar will likely lose ground, as the Fed would have good reason to slow the pace of tightening and could afford to be less hawkish in its stance.
- 132.13 has strengthened in resistance following the yen’s strong gains. 133.28 is the next resistance line.
- 131.68 and 129.49 are the next support lines