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USD/JPY Outlook April 23-27

Dollar/yen  moved higher as the Japanese determination to weaken the yen overcame the soft US data. We will now see how serious the BOJ is with its rate decision. There are other events as well. Here’s an  outlook  for the Japanese events and an updated technical analysis for  USD/JPY.

Last week, the governor of the BOJ Masaaki Shirakawa announced the central bank will continuing its powerful monetary easing, but stressed that the governments is required to make structural reforms to boost the economy. He also stated that Japanese economy is required to beat deflation in order to increase its growth potential.

Updates:   The Japanese yen is slightly stronger, as USD/JPY is trading at 81.10. CSPI will be released later on Monday. The  March reading dropped by 0.6%, a sixth-month low. No change is expected by the markets  in this month’s release. USD/ JPY is trading within range, at 0.8122. CSPI dropped, but still beat the market forecast. The consumer indicator posted a figure of -0.3%, while the markets had forecast a reading of -0.6%. The yen has edged upwards, with USD/JPY trading at 81.25. The markets are waiting for a host of releases on Thursday, including Retail Sales and CPI. All Industries Activity declined, posting a reading of  -0.1%. This was just shy of the market forecast of 0.0%. USD/JPY has dropped below the 81 level, trading at 80.889.    The markets are waiting for a host of releases later on Thursday, including Retail Sales and CPI.

USD/JPY  daily chart with support and resistance lines on it. Click to enlarge:USD/JPY Chart April 23 27 2012

  1. CSPI: Monday, 23:50. Japan’s corporate service price index dropped 0.6% in February, following 0.4% decline in the previous month. This downward trend occurs since October 2008 indicating ongoing deflation. Another 0.6%  decline is expected this time.
  2. All Industries Activity: Thursday, 4:30. Japanese all industry activity dropped more than expected in January in light of a slowdown in the tertiary sector. All industry activity index dropped 1.0% following a 1.6% gain in December. Economists expected a smaller decline of 0.5%. On a yearly basis, all industry activity slipped 0.1% after a   0.2% drop in December. A flat reading is anticipated.
  3. Household Spending: Thursday, 23:30. Japanese household spending increased 2.3% in February suggesting a moderate upturn in consumption due to government subsidies for fuel-efficient cars. This rise followed a 2.3% decline in January. An increase of 3.8% is predicted.
  4. Tokyo Core CPI: Thursday, 23:30. Tokyo’s core consumer price inflation remained unchanged in March at an annualized rate of -0.3%, from -0.3% in the preceding month. The reading was in line with predictions. Consumer price inflation is expected to remain -0.3%.
  5. Prelim Industrial Production  : Thursday, 23:50. Industrial productivity declined a 1.2% in February, contrary to predictions for a 1.3% rise and following a 1.9% gain in January. However production is expected to climb 12.6% in March and 0.6% in April. A rise of 2.4% is anticipated.
  6. Retail Sales: Thursday, 23:50. Japan’s retail sales surged in February by 3.5%, the fastest pace in a year and a half amid subsidies granted by the Japanese government on economic cars. This gain was well above the 1.4% rise anticipated. A big climb of 11.5% is expected this time.
  7.  Rate decision: Friday. The Bank of Japan maintained its monetary policy in April 10 while monitoring its previous easing measures. The decision came despite political pressure on the bank to introduce additional measures to fight deflation. The bank members voted unanimously to hold interest rates in a 0.0%-0.1% range and maintain the size of its asset purchase program at Y65 trillion. No change is expected this time.
  8. BOJ Outlook Report: Friday, 6:00. The Bank of Japan is likely to implement additional monetary easing to boost economic recovery and beat deflation said Kiyohiko Nishimura a deputy governor last week. The crisis in Europe is the main concern of the BOJ as it examines the root to domestic recovery and the BOJ will introduce further easing measures if required, a strong signal for its decision on April 27.

* All times are GMT

USD/JPY  Technical Analysis

Dollar/yen dropped lower at the beginning of the week, bouncing off 80.30, which didn’t appear last week. It then changed its course and found resistance at 81.80 (mentioned last week), before closing at 81.49.

Technical lines from top to bottom

85.50 is a key line. This was a peak after a strong move in March 2011. It held for more than one day and remains a key line in the distance. 84.50 capped the pair at the end of 2010 and at the beginning of 2011 and is a bit weaker now.

An important line of resistance is found at 84, which capped the pair back in February 2011 and provided some resistance in March 2012. It proved by holding two weeks in a row.  The minor line of 83.50, which was a glass ceiling for the pair during March 2012, closely follows.

82.87 was the line where the BOJ intervened in September 2010, and also worked in both directions afterwards. It worked as support when the pair traded higher and remains a cap. 81.80  served as support for the pair at the end of March 2012 and is now strong resistance after capping the pair also in mid April.

Close by, 81.43 is minor support after serving as resistance earlier in the year. 80.60 provided support for the pair around the same time, and served as a bouncing spot for the next moves.

80.30 is a new support line, just before the round number of 80, after providing a good cushion for the pair in April. The round number of 80, which provided strong support in June, is the next line, and it is of high importance.

79.50, was a battleground on the way up. This is the line that was reached after the last non-stealth intervention. 78.30 capped a second recovery attempt in November, after the intervention and had an important role earlier as well, working as support. After it was broken, the rally intensified. It now switches to support.

I am bullish on USD/JPY.

As both central banks meet to make decisions, there’s a higher chance we will get looser monetary policy from BOJ than the Fed. Expectations for QE3 in the US are too high, despite recent weakness, and dollar/yen has more room to rise.

Another note: USD/JPY so far justifies its title as the  most predictable currency pair for Q2.

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Anat Dror

Anat Dror

Anat Dror Senior Writer I conceptualize, design and create multi-lingual websites. Apart from the technical work, my projects usually consist of writing content for these sites in English, French and Hebrew. In the past, I have built, managed and marketed an e-learning center for language studies, including moderating a live community of students. I've also worked as a community organizer