USD/JPY Outlook -March 14-18
Majors, USD JPY Forecast

USD/JPY Outlook -March 14-18

Japan’s strongest earthquake on record will overshadow the scheduled events this week. The Monetary policy Statement presenting Overnight Call Rate and BOJ Press conference will be the major events this week. Here is an outlook on the scheduled events.

Following Japn’s strongest earthquake on record and the tsunami it triggered on March 11 the government plans to compile a spending package over the medium to long-term to cope with the consequences of the enormous devastation.   Northern Tohoku region was most affected by the disaster comprising 8% from the total GDP will require a lot of support to rebuild the factories and try to save a nuclear power plant from a risk of a meltdown. Officials will use about 200 billion yen ($2.4 billion) left over from the budget for the fiscal year ending March 31 to pay for the recovery effort. Unfortunately the full financial impact of this terrible earthquake is yet to be assessed.

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

USD JPY Chart March 14-18

Let’s start:

  1. Revised Industrial Production: Monday, 4:30. The Japanese Industrial Production grew by 3.3% in December 2010 expanding by 3.1% following 1.0% increase in November 2010. Over the year to December, the Industrial Production rose by 4.9% revised from 4.6% and following a 5.8% increase through the year to November 2010.  The same increase is expected this time.
  2. Household Confidence: Monday, 5:00. Japan’s consumer confidence improved for the first time in seven months in January rising to 41.1 from 40.1 in December together with encouraging signs of improving employment conditions.   A government official said fewer consumers now expect the situation to get worse.  A small increase to 41.6 is forecasted.
  3. Rate Decision: Tuesday. The Bank of Japan (BOJ) kept its monetary policy unchanged and maintained the overnight call rate target at zero to 0.1 %. In its monetary policy meeting it was agreed to maintain the size of the asset purchasing program, despite raising its assessment of the broader economy for the first time in nine months.
  4. BSI Manufacturing Index: Tuesday, 23:50. Contracted unexpected in the fourth quarter to -8.0 points from 13.3 in the previous quarter and against forecasts of 14.3 gain. This Large manufacturer’s survey expresses the difficulties and struggles of the Japanese economy to rise from deflation to growth.
  5. BOJ Monthly Report: Wednesday, 5:00. The Bank of Japan raised its assessment of the economy for the first time in nine months seeing a gradual improvement in economy with exports and production accelerates growth.
  6. Tertiary Industry Activity: Wednesday, 23:50. Japan’s tertiary industry index, fell 0.8% in December from the previous month the first fall in three months and below forecasts of a 0.5% fall. The December drop was led by wholesale and retail trade in household appliances since many shoppers rushed to retail stores before Dec. 1 due to governmental incentives.1.5% growth is forecasted.
  7. Monetary Policy Meeting Minutes: Thursday, 23:50. Policymakers grew more confident on the country’s economic recovery last month due to growing optimism towards recovery in the market. The BOJ raised its price forecast for the year starting in April and forecast an early escape for Japan from the economic doldrums in a quarterly review of its growth forecasts. It kept monetary policy steady and maintained interest rates at a range of zero to 0.1%.

*All times are GMT

USD/JPY Technical Analysis:

Dollar/Yen began the week with a rise and even challenged the 83.40 line (discussed last week), before the repatriation moves following the earthquake send to way down, to close at 81.82.

Looking up, very minor resistance  is found at 82.34, which was a swing low a few months ago, and worked as support just now. More significant resistance is at  82.87  – it was the point were the BOJ intervened back in September 2010.

Above, 83.40 provides more resistance, though weaker than in previous weeks. Dollar/yen failed to reach this area just now.  It’s followed by 84, which was quite stubborn two weeks ago, is a tough line of resistance.

Further above, the next line above is 84.50 which is the highest level since October and is a very tough resistance line.  Above, 85.93 was the top that the pair made after the BOJ intervention in September.

Looking down, immediate support is found at 81.80, which was a bottom at the beginning of the year, and also worked as resistance in October. Below this line, we find 80.87 – which provided support back in November and now has the same role.

Lower, 80.40, was the lowest close ever and by 79.75, the lowest intra-day level, reached back in 1995. Not much left down there.

I remain bullish on USD/JPY.

Despite the knee-jerk reaction, the state of the Japanese economy wasn’t good before the earthquake, and will be worse now. On the other side of the Pacific, the US economy is showing positive signs. This will eventually be reflected in the exchange rate, with or without an intervention by the BOJ.

Further reading:

Anat Dror

Anat Dror

Anat Dror Senior Writer I conceptualize, design and create multi-lingual websites. Apart from the technical work, my projects usually consist of writing content for these sites in English, French and Hebrew. In the past, I have built, managed and marketed an e-learning center for language studies, including moderating a live community of students. I've also worked as a community organizer