Home USD/JPY Forecast Feb. 16-20

USD/JPY was unchanged last week, as the pair closed at 118.67. This week’s key events are Preliminary GDP and the BOJ Monetary Statement. Here is an outlook on the major events moving the yen and an updated technical analysis for USD/JPY.

US key data disappointed last week. Jobless claims jumped above the 300 thousand level and  retail sales  and  consumer confidence  softened. In Japan, manufacturing data improved in December, led by Core Machinery Orders, which posted a gain of 8.3%.

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USD/JPY graph with support and resistance lines on it:

USDCAD_Forecast Feb.16-20

  1. Preliminary GDP: Sunday, 23:50. GDP is one of the most important indicators, and should be treated as a market-mover. Final GDP in Q3 was a dismal -0.5%. Q4 Preliminary GDP is expected to be much better, with a forecast  of 0.9%.
  2. Revised Industrial Production: Monday, 4:30. The indicator slipped in November, coming in at -0.5%. The markets are expecting better news in December, with an estimate of 1.0%.
  3. BOJ Monetary Policy Statement: Wednesday, Tentative. Although the BOJ is not expected to make any dramatic announcements, policy statements are major events which are closely scrutinized by the markets.   A press conference with BOJ Governor Haruhiko Kuroda  will follow.
  4. Trade Balance: Wednesday, 23:50. Trade Balance is closely linked to currency demand, as foreigners must purchase Japanese yen to buy Japanese goods and services. The December trade deficit of JPY 0.71 trillion was within expectations. The  markets are  expecting  the  deficit to narrow to 0.60 trillion in the  January report.
  5. All Industries Activity: Thursday, 4:30. The indicator posted a weak gain of 0.1%, matching the forecast. The December estimate stands at -0.2%.
  6. BOJ Monthly Report: Thursday, 5:00. This report contains analysis and statistical data, but as a  minor  indicator, it  is unlikely to have much  impact on the movement of  USD/JPY.
  7. Flash Manufacturing PMI: Friday, 1:35. This minor event helps gauge the strength of the manufacturing sector. The index has been very steady, posting three straight readings of 52.1 points. The estimate for the February report stands at 52.6 points.

* All times are GMT

USD/JPY Technical Analysis

USD/JPY  started the week at 118.96. The pair  climbed to a high  of 120.48, before reversing directions.  USD/JPY dropped to 118.33, as support remained firm at 117.94  (discussed last week). The pair closed the week almost unchanged, at 118.67.

Live chart of USD/JPY: [do action=”tradingviews” pair=”USDJPY” interval=”60″/]

Technical lines from top to bottom:

124.16 marked the start of a yen rally in June 2007, which saw USD/JPY drop to the 96 level.

122.19 remains a strong resistance line which has held firm since July 2007. The next resistance line is 121.39.

119.88 had provided resistance since early January, but was tested during the week as the pair jumped above the 120 line before retracting.

117.94 held steady in support as the pair lost ground late in the week.

116.82  is providing strong support  and has remained intact  since mid-January.

116.02 is the next support level.

114.65 is the final support level for now. This line has remained intact since December 2007, when the yen posted a strong rally which saw USD/JPY drop below the 96 line.


I am  bullish on USD/JPY

The Japanese economy continues to wrestle with weak inflation, raising the possibility of further easing from the BOJ, which would hurt the yen. In  the US, the markets will  be keeping a  close eye on the Federal Reserve minutes – if there are hints about a rate hike later in the year, the US dollar could posts broad gains.


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Kenny Fisher

Kenny Fisher

Kenny Fisher - Senior Writer A native of Toronto, Canada, Kenneth worked for seven years in the marketing and trading departments at Bendix, a foreign exchange company in Toronto. Kenneth is also a lawyer, and has extensive experience as an editor and writer.