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Japanese Yen Steadies as Intervention Speculation Subsides

  • USD/JPY drifting for a second straight day
  • BoJ likely did not intervene in currency markets

The Japanese yen has posted slight gains on Wednesday. In the European session, USD/JPY is trading at 148.97, down 0.10%.

Yen spike was likely not due to intervention

The yen has stabilized after a massive spike on Tuesday. The yen spiked upwards close to 2% in a matter of seconds on Tuesday after the yen breached the 150 line for the first time since October 2022. This raised a flurry of speculation that the Bank of Japan intervened in the currency markets in order to prop up the yen. It remained unclear if the spike was driven by an intervention or a technical movement, and the fact that Japanese officials refused to comment only added to the mystery.

It now appears that the BoJ did not intervene, based on an analysis of the Bank of Japan’s current account figures. The Ministry of Finance publishes intervention records monthly, which means investors will have to wait until October 31st to answer the intervention question with certainty. If there was no intervention, the yen’s spike at 150 demonstrates nervousness in the markets which is hanging in the air.

The BoJ may not have intervened on the currency markets, but the central bank did intervene in the bond markets on Wednesday and made an emergency bond purchase. The move failed to stop yields from rising on 10-year yields of Japanese government bonds, which have risen to 0.816% today, the highest level since 2013. The BoJ has insisted that it will not phase out its ultra-loose policy, but speculation continues that tightening is only a matter of time.

USD/JPY Technical

  • USD/JPY tested support at 148.50 earlier. Below, there is support at 147.84
  • 149.10 is a weak resistance line, followed by resistance at 149.97

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