USD/JPY Outlook January 16-20

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Dollar/yen practically remained indifferent towards the crisis in Europe, but suffered from softer US data. Will it maintain the perfect range trading? Core Machinery Orders and Tertiary Industry Activity are the highlight of this week. Here’s an outlook for the Japanese events and an updated technical analysis for USD/JPY.

Last week, positive readings were registered in Japan with a rise to 92.9% in Leading Indicators, a smaller than predicted drop in the current account surplus reaching 0.48T and a rise in Economy Watchers Sentiment to 47 from 45 getting closer to the 50 point line. Will this positive trend continue?

Updates: Japanese core machinery orders leaped by 14.8% and this helped USD/JPY tick down, but it’s still in the 76.60 to 77 range. The Japanese economy continues showing signs of weakness, with Tertiary Industry Activity dropping again. USD/JPY is stable in range. The pair remains in range and ignores a downwards revision of industrial production, to a fall of 2.7%. US figures are better than expected so far. See how to trade the Philly Fed Index with USD/JPY.

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

USD/JPY Chart January 16 20 2012

  1. Core Machinery Orders: Sunday, 23:50.Japan’s core machinery orders dropped unexpectedly by 6.9% in October after 8.2% decline in the previous month. The probable cause for this plunge is the EU debt crisis. Economists predicted a rise of 0.2%. An increase of 5.3% is predicted now.
  2. Household Confidence: Monday, 5:00. Consumer sentiment dropped further in November amid the strong yen and the European debt crisis reaching 38.1 from38.6 in October. Employment conditions declined in November lowering household confidence as well. A small rise to 38.9 is forecasted.
  3. Tertiary Industry Activity: Monday 23:50. The service sector index increased in October by a seasonally adjusted 0.6% after a 0.7% decline in the previous month. Economists expected a gain of 0.5%. The main contributors to this rise were computer software and communications. A small decrease of -0.3% is predicted now.
  4. Revised Industrial Production: Wednesday, 4:30. Japan’s industrial output increased by 2.2% in October better than the 2.6% drop in the preliminary reading and following a 3.3% decline in September. This rise indicated that theThailand flooding effect was smaller than estimated. A drop of  -2.4% is estimated.
  5. All Industries Activity: Friday, 4:30. Japanese industry activity expanded in October gaining 0.8% following 0.7% drop in the previous month. This increase was below the 1.2% increase predicted by analysts. A contraction of -0.6% is predicted.

* All times are GMT

USD/JPY Technical Analysis

Dollar/yen remained capped by the 77 line throughout most of the week. The 76.60 line (discussed last week) provided support. It eventually closed the week very close to last week’s close.

Technical lines from top to bottom

80.25 was a swing trough in June and a peak in July. The round figure of 80, which provided strong support, is the next line, and it is of high importance.

79.50, is the next line of resistance. This is the line that was reached after the recent intervention. 78.30 capped a second recovery attempt in November, after the intervention and had an important role earlier as well, working as support. This is the key line on the upside for now.

77.50 is now stronger once again, and now works as resistance. It worked well also in October. The round number of  77, is a significant cap once again, after the recent fall. It’s followed closely by 76.60 which was a significant line of support at the beginning of 2012.

Further below we have the swing record low of 76.25 which is still of importance after working well as resistance. A previous low of 75.95 is minor support. The last record low of 75.57 where the BOJ intervened is the final frontier in charted territory for now.

Below, the round number of 75 is the next potential cushion and an area where the Japanese authorities will be keen to intervene.

I am neutral on USD/JPY.

After a winning streak of positive indicators from the US, softer data this week means less support for the pair. At current levels, USD/JPY has support from a potential intervention by the Japanese authorities. Will the pair move once again? Some think it will.

Further reading:

Get the 5 most predictable currency pairs

About Author

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