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USD/JPY Technical Analysis: Japanese Intervention Levels

The Japanese yen plunged to its lowest level since November as investors shifted their focus from the Fed’s hawkish decision to the Bank of Japan’s policy decision on Friday. The gains of the US dollar currency pair increased against the Japanese yen, USD/JPY, to reach the resistance level of 141.46, its highest during the year 2023. Sharp losses in the Japanese yen, prompted by the comments of the Japanese Prime Minister Hirokazu Matsuno that excessive movements are not desirable. Last month when the yen fell to similar levels, senior currency official Masato Kanda said the government would take action if necessary, after an unscheduled meeting between the Bank of Japan, the Finance Ministry and the Financial Services Agency.

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In contrast, a hawkish stance from US Federal Reserve officials on Wednesday stands in sharp contrast to policymakers at the Bank of Japan who have stuck to monetary easing, a disparity that favors the dollar over the yen. The Fed expects borrowing costs to rise from a previous high, while all economists surveyed by Bloomberg see the Bank of Japan leaving its loose policy unchanged on Friday.

Commenting on this, Takeshi Ishida, Forex Analyst at Resona Bank Ltd. said: “Given market movements and the Fed’s policy outlook, there is an increased possibility of the trilateral meeting taking place and this market concern is likely to increase.” And the dollar-yen’s upside may be limited because US Treasury yields haven’t gone up much.”

Thursday’s demand for the US dollar is also likely to be affected by Japanese importers, who typically buy the greenback on trading days that are multiples of five such as the 10th, 15th and 20th of any month.

Looking into Friday, BoJ officials will likely see little need to adjust the yield curve control program given some improvement in the performance of the bond market, according to people familiar with the matter. BoJ Governor Kazuo Ueda said earlier this month that the Bank of Japan has consistently stated that it will maintain easing until its rate target is achieved in a stable manner, fueling more speculations that the central bank will remain conservative in the coming months.

The Bank of Japan’s Ueda is likely to keep the bond market on his side for now.

Last year, the yen’s weakness around 146 against the dollar led to Japan’s first intervention to support the currency since 1998, although in the run-up to that, there were repeated official warnings about direct action. The Japanese currency has fallen about 7% this year. For his part, Rodrigo Catrill, a strategist at National Australia Bank Ltd in Sydney, said: “A sustained breakout above the 141 resistance opens the door for levels above 142 to be tested, perhaps very quickly.” The intervention is unlikely to do much to stop the yen’s weakness, it is merely an opportunity to reset short positions.

  • The upward movement this week of the USD/JPY currency pair was a motive for the movement of technical indicators towards strong overbought levels.
  • The currency pair may remain in its upward path until the reaction to the monetary policy decisions of the Central Bank of Japan.
  • Emphasis on the easing policy may push the USD/JPY currency pair towards stronger resistance levels that may reach the peaks of 141.85, 142.20, and 143.00, respectively.

On the other hand, if the Japanese Central Bank indicated to intervene and monitor the forex currency market, the currency pair may be exposed to profit-taking sales at any time. In general, according to the performance over the same time period, there will be no break of the current bullish trend without moving towards the support level of 138.80. In addition to monetary policy, the currency pair is on a date with the rest of the important US economic releases.

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