The Japanese economy grew 1.3% in the second quarter, on an annualized basis. This was significantly lower than the initial estimate of 1.8%. Manufacturing data for July was a mix. Core Machinery Orders fell 6.6%, compared to a strong gain of 13.9% a month earlier. There was better news from Industrial Production, which rebounded with a gain of 1.3%, after a decline of 3.3% in the previous release.
In the U.S., the Federal Reserve lowered rates by 25 basis points, a move that was widely expected. This resulted in a muted reaction on the currency markets. Fed cuts are often accompanied by a dovish message from policymakers, but this time the Fed sounded more hawkish than expected. Jerome Powell said that the U.S. economic picture was “favorable” and that the rate cut was an insurance policy in case economic conditions worsened. Elsewhere, the Philly Fed Manufacturing Index slowed for a second straight month, falling to 12.0. Still, this beat the estimate of 10.9.
Key news updates for USD/JPY
USD/JPY Technical Analysis
We start with resistance at 110.62.
109.73, which has held in resistance since the end of May. 109.35 is close by.
108.10 was a swing low in late May.
107.30 is an immediate support line. It could see action early in the week.
106.61(mentioned last week) is next.
105.55 has held in support since late August.
104.65 has held firm since the first week of January. It is the final support line for now.
USD/JPY Daily Chart
I am neutral on USD/JPY
The dollar has flexed some muscle in recent weeks, as investors haven’t shown much appetite for the safe-haven Japanese yen. The U.S. economy remains in solid shape, despite last week’s rate cut. With tensions running high in the Persian Gulf, any breakout of hostilities could dampen risk appetite and boost the Japanese currency.