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Dollar/yen  continued gaining ground as the US advanced on tax cuts and the data wasn’t bad enough to halt the Fed from raising rates. Japan’s GDP disappointed, and added to the pair’s gains. The upcoming week features the Fed as the main dish. Will the pair try to break to higher ground?

Update: The Senate approved the bill by 51 to 49.

USD/JPY  fundamental  movers

Trump tax cuts trump everything

After the Senate approved their own version of the tax cuts, Republicans are getting closer to reaching a full approval of the bill and the conference process is moving forward. This boosts the stock markets and the dollar as well. If everything works to plan, the bill could be approved by the end of the year.

The jobs report was mixed, with a great gain in jobs, 228K but wages remain stuck at 2.5% y/y. This hurt the dollar, but will not halt the Fed.

Fed decision, CPI and retail sales

The last rate decision of the year is Yellen’s last post rate decision press conference. The Fed is expected to raise the interest rate by 0.25% and they  telegraphed it very clearly. They will probably leave the dot-plot unchanged by forecasting 3 rate hikes in 2018.  

If we get no changes from the Fed, retail sales and inflation figures could take centre stage. These are key figures that could shape monetary policy. Inflation remains low and if it persists, the Fed will find it hard to raise rates further.

In Japan, the Tankan survey numbers will be of interest, but the BOJ is unlikely to change its policy anytime soon.

See all the main events in the Forex Weekly Outlook

Key news updates for USD/JPY

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USD/JPY Technical Analysis

115.35 is an old line that served as support when the pair traded on higher ground. 114.50 is the cycle high last seen in early July. The pair got close to that level.

113.50 was a temporary line of resistance on the way up in July. 113.70 was a separator of ranges in June.

112.20 used to be important in the past. It is closely followed by 111.70, which provided support back in October. The round level of 111 worked as a cushion to the pair in November.

Looking down, 110.70 was a separator of ranges in June and remains important.  109.60 was a gap  line in late April, a gap that was never closed.

In June, the pair found support several times at 109.10 and this also works as support.  Further below, the cycle low of 108.10 is of high importance.

USD/JPY  Daily Chart

USD/JPY Sentiment

I am bearish on USD/JPY

Even with the expected rate hike, low inflation numbers could weigh on the dollar. In addition, the pair is trading on high ground, and recent movements suggest that the pair could drop back to range.

Our latest podcast is titled  A December to remember for EUR/USD

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