- Tokyo Core CPI climbs higher than expected
- US GDP jumps 4.9%
The Japanese yen has steadied after three straight days of losses. In the European session, USD/JPY is trading at 150.11, down 0.19%.
Strong Tokyo Core CPI puts the heat on BoJ
Tokyo Core CPI climbed 2.7% y/y in October, above 2.5% in September which was also the consensus estimate. The index, which excludes fresh food is a key indicator of inflation trends in Japan and is closely monitored by the Bank of Japan. Tokyo’s headline CPI also rose in October, from 2.8% to 3.3%.
The Bank of Japan will find it hard to ignore these hotter-than-expected inflation readings. The timing of these releases is awkward for the BoJ, which holds its policy meeting on Oct. 30-31. Underlying inflation is proving to be stickier than expected and BoJ policy makers may have to revise upwards their inflation outlooks for 2023 and 2024. High inflation is a risk to Japan’s recovery, putting pressure on the BoJ to make some kind of move at the meeting.
The central bank will have a busy agenda at next week’s meeting. Aside from stubbornly high inflation, the BoJ will have to decide whether to tweak its yield curve control (YCC) program and what to do about the falling yen. The Japanese currency breached the symbolic 150 line this week for the first time since October 3rd, raising speculation that the BoJ could shift its policy or even intervene in the currency markets. Tokyo has responded to the yen breaching 150 with the usual verbal intervention, warning investors not to sell the yen. The BoJ won’t be providing any advance warning about a currency intervention, so traders should remain on alert.
US GDP sizzles 4.9%
For those doubting US exceptionalism, the superb US GDP of 4.9% in the third quarter was proof in the pudding of a robust US economy. This was the fastest growth rate since Q4 of 2021, boosted by strong consumer spending in the third quarter. The sharp rise in growth hasn’t changed market expectations with regard to rates, which have priced in pauses at the November and December meetings.
- USD/JPY is testing support at 1.5017. Below, there is support at 149.67
- There is resistance at 1.5049 and 1.5099