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USD/JPY had an uneventful week, as the pair posted modest losses. USD/JPY closed the week at 97.40. This week’s highlight is the Bank of  Japan’s  Monetary Policy Statement. Here is an outlook on the major market-movers and an updated technical analysis for USD/JPY.

The US dollar was broadly weaker last week , as initial optimism over the debt deal quickly faded . The agreement reached in Congress is only for a few months, as the underlying budgetary issues are yet to be resolved.

USD/JPY daily chart with support and resistance lines on it. Click to enlarge: USD JPY Outlook Oct 28-Nov 1st

  1. Household Spending: Monday, 23:30.  Household Spending continues to look weak, and the August release  posted a disappointing decline of 1.6%. This was well off  the  estimate of a 0.2%. The  markets are  expecting a strong  turnaround in  the upcoming release, with an estimate of 0.7%. Will the indicator bounce back this  month as predicted?
  2. Retail  Sales: Monday, 23:50. Retail Sales is considered the most important consumer spending indicator, and should be treated as market-mover. The indicator posted a strong gain of 1.1% in August, matching the forecast. The  September estimate stands at 1.9%,  which would be the best level we’ve seen in over a year.
  3. Preliminary Industrial Production: Tuesday, 23:50. This important manufacturing indicator has been inconsistent, and declined by 0.7% in August. The estimate stood at -0.2%. The markets are anticipating a much better release this time around, with an estimate of a 1.8% gain.
  4. Manufacturing PMI: Wednesday, 23:15. This index continues to trade above the 50-point level, indicative of ongoing expansion in the manufacturing sector. No significant change is expected in the September release.
  5. Average Cash Earnings: Thursday, 1:30. The indicator is closely related to consumer spending, a critical component of economic growth. In August, the indicator posted a decline of -0.6%, its first drop since April. The markets are anticipating a second straight decline, with the estimate standing at -0.5%.
  6. BOJ Monetary Policy Statement: Thursday, Tentative.   The BOJ is not expected to make any changes to current interest rate or monetary base levels. The statement will be followed by a press conference.
  7. Housing Starts: Thursday, 5:00. In August, Housing Starts posted a gain of 8.8%, a  four-month low. This was well below the estimate of a 12.9% gain. The markets are expecting much better news in September, with an estimate of 12.6%.
  8. BOJ Outlook Report: Thursday, 6:00. This report details the Bank’s view of economic conditions and inflation, and analysts will be combing through it for any clues as to the BOJ’s future monetary policy.

* All times are GMT

USD/JPY Technical Analysis

USD/JPY started the week at 97.96. The pair climbed to a high of 98.48, as the resistance line at 98.90  (discussed last week) remained firm.  USD/JPY then reversed direction, dropping below the 97 line and touching a low of 96.94. USD/JPY closed the week at 97.40.
Live chart of USD/JPY: [do action=”tradingviews” pair=”USDJPY” interval=”60″/]
Technical lines from top to bottom

We  begin with resistance at the round number of 104. This was a key line back in May 2008. At that time, USD/JPY was in the midst of a rally which saw the pair climb as high as 110.

102.50 was an important resistance line in late May but has not been tested since that time.

101.44 was the post-crisis high seen in April 2009, and has not been tested since mid-July. 100.85 saw activity in July as the dollar showed strength.

100, a key level, saw some activity in September and continues to provide resistance.

98.90 held firm as the pair moved higher early in the week. It remains intact as a strong resistance line.

97.80  continues to  provide  resistance. It is a weak line and could be tested early in the week.

96.59 is the first line of support. It has held firm since mid-August.

The round number of 95 is a psychologically significant line. It has held firm since mid-June.

93.79 marked the low point of a rally by USD/JPY which started in mid-June and saw the pair climb to the mid-101 range in July.

The final support level for now is 92.88, which last saw activity in April.

I am  neutral on USD/JPY

USD/JPY was unable to sustain much movement in either direction last week, and this could continue. The dollar managed to post modest gains against the yen last week, despite weak employment and manufacturing data out of the US.  If the US can bounce  back with stronger numbers this week, we could see the US dollar  post gains.