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USD/JPY  pushed above the 120 line,  but  then retracted and  closed the week almost unchanged. The pair closed at 118.96.  The upcoming week has nine events. Here is an outlook on the major events moving the yen and an updated technical analysis for USD/JPY.

In the US, there was good news to start off the week as existing home sales beat expectations. However, New Home Sales failed to keep pace and Durable Goods Orders were a mixed bag. In Japan, it was an uneventful week with no major events.

[do action=”autoupdate” tag=”USDJPYUpdate”/]

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

USD_JPY_Forecast.Apr 27-May1

    1. Retail Sales: Monday, 23:50. Retail Sales is the primary gauge of consumer spending, and an unexpected reading can have a significant impact on the movement of USD/JPY. The indicator has struggled, posting two straight declines. In February, the indicator came in at -1.8%, missing the forecast of -1.4%. The markets are braced for a sharp downturn in the March report, with an estimate of -7.4%.
    2. Preliminary Industrial Production: Wednesday, 23:50. This important manufacturing indicator weakened in February, posting a sharp decline of 3.4%. This was much lower than the forecast of -1.8%. The markets are expecting another decline of 3.4% in the March report.
    3. Monetary Policy Statement: Thursday, Tentative. The BOJ is not expected to veer from its aggressive monetary stance, as inflation remains at very low levels. The statement will be followed by a press conference.
    4. Housing Starts: Thursday, 5:00.  Housing Starts  has been  struggling, as the indicator continues to post declines, pointing to contraction in the housing sector.  In February, the indicator improved to -3.1%, marking an 11-month high. This beat the estimate of -7.0%. The markets are expecting the indicator to improve to -1.8% in the March report.
    5. BOJ Outlook Report: Thursday, 6:00. This report is released semi-annually by the BOJ. Analysts will be carefully combing the report, looking for clues as to the Bank’s future monetary policy.
    6. Household Spending: Thursday, 23:30. The indicator has posted 11 straight declines, pointing to  ongoing consumer spending. The February reading of -29% was within expectations. However, the markets are braced for a sharp downturn in the March release, with a forecast of -11.7%. If the indicator does not beat expectations, we could see the yen lose ground.
    7. Tokyo Core CPI: Thursday, 23:30. Tokyo Core CPI  is the most important inflation indicator. The index has been very steady, with three consecutive readings of 2.2%. The markets are expecting a much weaker gain in the   March report, with an estimate of 0.5%.
    8. Average Cash Earnings: Friday, 1:30. This is an important indicator of consumer spending, which is a key component of economic growth.  The indicator  has been losing ground in recent readings, and  slipped to 0.5% in February, within expectations. Little change is  expected in the  March release.
    9. Final Manufacturing PMI: Friday, 1:35. This minor event has been slightly above the 50-point level, with the index dipping to 50.3 points in February, which was within expectations. The indicator is expected to dip to 49.8 points in the March release.

* All times are GMT

USD/JPY Technical Analysis

USD/JPY started the week at  118.84 and  pushed above the 120 line, touching a high  of 120.09.  The pair then reversed directions,  dropping to a low of 118.53,  breaking below support at 118.68  (discussed last week). USD/JPY closed the week almost unchanged, at 118.96.

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

Technical lines from top to bottom:

We  begin with resistance at 124.16. This line marked the start of a yen rally in June 2007, which saw USD/JPY drop to the 96 level.

122.19 is the next resistance line.

121.39 remains a strong resistance line. The line held firm as the pair showed some strength late in the week.

119.88 continues  to be  busy in April. The line  switched to  a resistance  role  earlier in  April.

118.68 was tested again this week, but recovered and starts the week as a weak support line.

117.94  is an immediate support level.

116.82 has remained intact since mid-January. 115.85 is the next support line.

115.29  is the  final support  level  for now. It  has remained intact since December 2014.

I  am  neutral  on USD/JPY

The pair has shown limited movement for over a month, and this trend could continue. Although a rate hike  by the Fed  may have been pushed back due to some weak US numbers, market sentiment still remains positive about the US economy, so the dollar should be able to hold its own against the yen.

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Further reading: