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Dollar/yen continued its regular range trading, but lost uptrend support – that’s new. Monetary Policy Meeting Minutes are the highlight of this week. Here’s an  outlook  for the Japanese events and an updated technical analysis for  USD/JPY.

The Bank of Japan kept its monetary policy unchanged leaving rates at a minimum low of 0.0% to 0.1%. The QE program was extended to 45 trillion yen, but the markets were underwhelmed by this small step by the BOJ.  Current Account surplus continued contracting in May reaching 0.28T from 0.29T in the previous month and Core Machinery Orders  plunged 14.8% in May compared to a 5.7% gain in April lower than the 2.4% decline predicted by analysts.    

Updates: Monday is a Bank Holiday in Japan. The yen has strengthened to start the trading week, as USD/JPY was testing the 79 line. The pair was trading at 79.00. The BOJ will release the minutes from its most recent policy meeting on Tuesday. USD/JPY continues to test the 79 line. The pair was trading at 0.7905. The BOJ will release the minutes from its most recent policy meeting on Tuesday. USD/JPY continues to test the 79 line. The pair was trading at 0.7905. BOJ released the minutes of its June policy meeting. The  report stated that Japanese economy is improving as domestic demand remains firm, despite sluggish global conditions. However, deflation remains a critical issue which could hamper the economic recovery. The yen continued to test the 79 line, with USD/JPY trading at 78.98. All Industries Activity dropped in June, coming in at -0.3%. This was a notch below the market estimate of -0.2%. The yen was steady,  with USD/JPY trading at 78.58.

USD/JPY  daily chart with support and resistance lines on it. Click to enlarge:USD/JPY Forex Chart July 16 20 2012

  1. Monetary Policy Meeting Minutes: Tuesday, 23:50. BOJ Governor Masaaki Shirakawa was concerned over the EU debt crisis at the Bank’s meeting in May. He stated the bank is ready for further easing measures should risks to Japan’s economy increase. Another downside risk mentioned in this meeting is the slowdown in China Japan’s biggest export destination which caused BOJ to moderateJapan’s growth forecast.
  2. All Industries Activity: Thursday, 4:30.Japan’s all industry activity expanded by 0.1% in April, a bit lower than the 0.2% gain anticipated following a 0.3% decline in the previous month. Construction dropped 5.6% and industrial output declined 0.2%. On a yearly basis, all industry activity grew at a pace of 4.1%, below March’s 5.5 % expansion. A decline of 0.2% is predicted now.


USD/JPY  Technical Analysis

$/yen started off under the 79.70 cap (mentioned last week), Despite making a fast move above 80, the pair remained range bound, with 79 serving as the bottom border.

Technical lines from top to bottom

84 was the peak reached in March and remains a tough spot. 83.20 provided support when the pair traded on high ground and it then switched to resistance.

82.87 is a veteran line – that’s where the BOJ intervened for the first time back in 2010. 81.80 capped the pair in April.

81.43 is stronger after serving as resistance for a recovery attempt. 80.60 provided support for the pair around the same time, and served as a bouncing spot for the next moves. It proved its strength as resistance in June 2012, more than once.

80.20 separated ranges in May 2012 and remains another barrier after 80 on the upside. The round number of 80 is psychologically important, even though it was crossed several times in recent months. It is stronger now.

79.70 was a cap was seen in June 2012. It proved its strength as resistance once again in July 2012. 79.10 was a cushion for the pair several times in June and also back in May 2012. This role continues in July.

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 a key line after the fall.

77.50 was the bottom border of a range the pair had at the end of 2011. It is followed by 77, which is only minor support.

76.60 was a cushion for the pair at the beginning of the year and is rather strong. 76.26 is the next line on the downside after working as a support quite some time ago.

Uptrend Support Broken

Note that uptrend support was broken now – there was no big move, and the pair remains range bound, but this is something to watch. Uptrend support was more significant than uptrend resistance in the channel.

I remain neutral on  USD/JPY.

With no big move from the BOJ and no big move expected from the Fed after the not-too-dovish minutes, the forces in the “safe haven pair” remain balanced. Both currencies have potential to continue strengthening against others.

Further reading: