The Japanese yen has edged lower in the Wednesday session. In North American trade, USD/JPY is trading at 112.17, down 0.31% on the day. On the release front, there are no major Japanese indicators. In the US, ADP Nonfarm Employment Change slowed to 190 thousand, a shade above the forecast of 189 thousand. On Thursday, the US releases unemployment claims and Japan releases Final GDP for the third quarter.
Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda remains the model of consistency, at least as far as its monetary policy. On Monday, Kuroda reiterated that the BoJ would maintain its ultra-accommodative monetary policy in order "to achieve the 2 percent inflation target as soon as possible". The BoJ has been forced to constantly lower its inflation projections, yet the Bank has stubbornly stuck to its 2 percent target. Although the labor market remains tight, this has not translated into higher wages for workers, and nervous consumers have held tight to their purse strings, further contributing to a lack of inflation. Kuroda noted that global economic growth had improved, although he sounded a note of concern about President’s Trump isolationist policy, saying that he hoped that global trade would be conducted under the multilateral trading system.
The ADP nonfarm employment report came in as expected, with a gain of 190 thousand. However, this was a substantial drop compared to the previous reading of 235 thousand. Investors are, of course, much more interested in the official nonfarm employment change release, which takes place on Friday. Again, the markets are expecting a soft landing, with a forecast of 200 thousand, down from 261 thousand in the October release. If nonfarm payrolls, one of the most important indicators, is weaker than expected, the US dollar could lose ground. The US will also release a wage growth report on Friday, with the markets expecting a gain of 0.3%.