- USD/JPY is seen consolidating its weekly gains registered over the past three days.
- Intervention fears turn out to be a key factor acting as a headwind for the major.
- The divergent BoJ-Fed policy outlook continues to lend support and limit losses.
The USD/JPY pair lacks any firm intraday direction on Thursday and oscillates in a narrow band during the Asian session, just below the 151.00 mark, or a one-week high touched the previous day. Spot prices, for now, seem to have snapped a three-day winning streak.
Investors remain sceptic about a potential intervention in the FX market by Japanese authorities, to combat any further downfall in the domestic currency, which, in turn, is seen as a key factor acting as a headwind for the USD/JPY pair. Apart from this, a modest US Dollar (USD) downtick, led by a further decline in the US Treasury bond yields, exerts some pressure on spot prices. The downside, however, remains cushioned in the wake of a big divergence in the monetary policy stance adopted by the Bank of Japan (BoJ) and the Federal Reserve (Fed).
BoJ Governor Kazuo Ueda earlier this week said the country was making progress towards achieving the 2% inflation target but not enough to end ultra-loose policy yet. Ueda also underscored the uncertainty on whether smaller companies would be able to raise wages next year. Ueda added on Wednesday that wages and inflation need to rise in tandem for the BoJ to consider exiting the decade-long accommodative policy. In contrast, the recent remarks by several Fed officials suggested that the central bank might not be done with raising interest rates.
The USD/JPY pair, meanwhile, moves little following the release of the BoJ Summary of Opinions earlier this Thursday. Even the latest Chinese consumer inflation figures, which pointed to sustained disinflationary pressures, also did little to provide any meaningful impetus. Traders now look to Fed Chair Jerome Powell’s speech, which will be looked upon for cues about the next policy move. Apart from this, the US bond yields will influence the USD price dynamics and allow traders to grab short-term opportunities around the major.
Technical levels to watch