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Tertiary Industry Activity and Trade Balance are the main events this week. Here’s a review of the major market-movers ahead and an updated technical analysis for USD/JPY, that is on lower ground.

Last week, Japan’s government lowered its assessment of the economy for the first time in many months in line with Bank of Japan following the horrific earthquake and tsunami last month. Japan also downgraded its assessment on exports; industrial production and private consumption, after the disaster and subsequent nuclear catastrophe disrupted supply chains and triggered power shortages. This signals that the economy is heading downwards after stalling for many months.

USD/JPY daily chart with support and resistance lines marked. Click to enlarge:

USD JPY Chart  April 18-22

  1. Household Confidence: Tuesday, 6:00. Japanese consumer sentiment survey for general households including views on incomes and jobs, dropped in February to 40.7 from 41.1 in the previous month below 41.6 expected.  A further decrease to 39.9 is expected now.
  2. Tertiary Industry Activity: Wednesday, 0:50. Japan’s tertiary industry activity surged 2.1% in January following a decline of 0.9% in December 2010. Analysts expected activities to increase by 1.5% in the first month of this year. Industries that contributed to the increase included wholesale and retail trade, information and communications, financial services and technical services. Industries that finished lower included accommodations, personal services and real estate. A small gain of  0.2% is predicted.
  3. Trade Balance: Wednesday, 0:50. Japanese adjusted merchandise trade balance surplus widened reaching a value of 556.0 billion JPY compared to the previous reading of 191.8 billion JPY revised to be 268.8 billion JPY. Analysts forecasted a rise to 676.8 billion JPY. However Japan’s export figures in March will be weakened due to the declines in production resulting from the March 11 earthquake taking a toll on GDP growth in the first quarter. Economists expect exports to recover by May. Japan’s merchandise trade balance surplus is expected to narrow to 330.0 billion JPY.

*All times are GMT

USD/JPY Technical Analysis:

Dollar/yen erased a lot of the gains it made recently. After losing the 84.50 line (mentioned last week), it continued lower and found support only at the 82.87 line, closing just above 83.

Looking down, immediate support is found at 82.87. This is exactly where the BOJ intervened in September to weaken the yen. It’s follwoed by the  81.80 – 82 region which is a strong area of support. It worked as a distinctive line in both directions in recent months, before and after the disaster.

Moving lower, we find  80.90. This line had a role as a pivotal  line is  now only minor support. It’s followed by the  November’s lows of 80.40, which also worked two weeks ago.

A very strong line is 79.75 – this was the previous historic low of 1995 and briefly worked as resistance before the big intervention, provides further support. Below this line, 78.27 is very minor support.

Looking up, 83.40 now turns into resistance – the same role it had before the March 11 catastrophe. It also worked now. It’s followed by 84, which was a peak a few months ago.

Stronger resistance is at 85.50, which was a recent and very stubborn peak.  Above, 85.93, which was the peak after the yen intervention in September, is the next, close, line of resistance.  Further, there’s a bigger gap until the next line –  87  isn’t only a round number – it was also support back in July 2010.

Higher above, 88.12, which capped the pair back in August and previously worked as support is the next stronghold.  It’s followed by 89.10, which worked in both directions before July 2010. The last line for now is the round number of 90.

I remain bullish on USD/JPY.

Despite the weakness of the US dollar, the fragile situation in Japan weighs against the yen.

Another opinion:  FX Tech Strategy sees Dollar/yen facing more downside pressure.

Further reading:

 

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