The safe-haven Japanese yen started the New Year with a bang, as USD/JPY lost over 300 points last week, closing at 117.25. This marked the sharpest weekly drop for the pair since June 2013. The upcoming week has just five events. Here is an outlook on the major events moving the yen and an updated technical analysis for USD/JPY.
With Chinese stock markets plunging last week, jittery investors scurried to the safe-haven yen. In the US, the NFP report was outstanding late in the week, but the US dollar couldn’t make any headway against the strong yen.
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USD/JPY graph with support and resistance lines on it:
- Current Account: Monday, 23:50. Japan’s current account improved sharply in October, climbing to 1.49 trillion yen, close to the estimate of 1.53 trillion yen. The upward trend is expected to continue, with an estimate of 1.52 trillion yen.
- Consumer Confidence: Tuesday, 5:00. Stronger consumer confidence usually translates into increased consumer spending, a key driver of economic growth. In November, the indicator improved to 42.6 points, beating the estimate of 41.8 points. The forecast for the December report is 42.3 points.
- M2 Money Stock: Tuesday, 23:50. The indicator has softened for three straight releases, and the November reading of 3.3% missed the forecast of 3.5%. Little change is expected in the December report, with an estimate of 3.4%.
- Core Machinery Orders: Wednesday, 23:50. The indicator has posted solid back-to-back releases, with an excellent gain of 10.7% in October. This easily beat the estimate of -1.5%. The markets are braced for a sharp turnaround in November, with the estimate standing at -73%.
- Preliminary Machine Tool Orders: Thursday, 6:00. The week wraps up with another manufacturing event. This indicator has looked dismal, posting four straight declines. Will we see any improvement in the December reading?
* All times are GMT
Live chart of USD/JPY: [do action=”tradingviews” pair=”USDJPY” interval=”60″/]
USD/JPY Technical Analysis
USD/JPY opened the week at 120.32 and quickly touched a high of 120.47, testing resistance at 120.40 (discussed last week). The pair then reversed directions and dropped all the way to 117.13. USD/JPY closed the week at 117.25.
Technical lines from top to bottom:
With the pair recording sharp losses last week, we start at lower levels:
We start with resistance at 121.50.
120.40 remains busy and was tested early in the week before the yen posted sharp gains.
119.19 was easily breached by the yen and has switched to resistance. It had held firm in support since October.
118.50 is next.
116.90 supported dollar/yen early in 2015. It is a weak support level and could see activity during the week.
115.90 has provided support since November 2007.
114.65 is next.
113.71 was an important resistance line in July 2005. It is the final support level for now.
I am neutral on USD/JPY
The BOJ has tinkered with its monetary policy, but remains under strong pressure to implement further easing, which would sharpen monetary divergence and weaken the yen. With the US economy continuing to roll early in 2016, speculation has increased that the Feds may raise rates again in March. Such sentiment is positive for the US dollar and could help the pair recover from last week’s carnage.
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- For a broad view of all the week’s major events worldwide, read the USD outlook.
- For EUR/USD, check out the Euro to Dollar forecast.
- For the Japanese yen, read the USD/JPY forecast.
- For GBP/USD (cable), look into the British Pound forecast.
- For the Australian dollar (Aussie), check out the AUD to USD forecast.
- For the kiwi, see the NZDUSD forecast.