USD/JPY: Trading the US jobless claims May 2013

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US Unemployment Claims, a key indicator, is released weekly. It measures the number of people who filed for unemployment for the first time during the previous week. A reading which is higher than the market forecast is bullish for the Japanese yen.

Here are all the details, and 5 possible outcomes for USD/JPY.

Published on Thursday at 12:30 GMT.

Indicator Background

Unemployment claims is important economic indicator of consumer confidence in the economy. It helps measure future spending behavior, as more jobs leads to increased spending. In turn, an increase in consumer spending sends a strong signal that the economy is healthy and growing.

Employment numbers out of the US have looked sharp, led by solid Unemployment Claims for the past two weeks. The previous release came in at 324 thousand unemployed individuals, well below the market forecast of 346K. This week’s estimate stands at 333 thousand. Will the indicator again beat the forecast?

Sentiments and levels

The US has had posted some weak numbers in recent weeks, but the encouraging jobs report from the US sets the ground for fresh rises. The magical number of 100 could be broken in the third attempt. In addition, setting a timetable for the Japanese recovery and the green light from the G-20 for the BOJ to continue its aggressive easing certainly allows for more falls for the yen. So, the sentiment is bullish on USD/JPY towards this release.

Technical levels, from top to bottom: 101.44, 100, 98.90, 97.80, 97 and 96.71.

5 Scenarios

  1. Within expectations: 327K to 339K: In such a case, USD/JPY is likely to rise within range, with a small chance of breaking higher.
  2. Above expectations: 340K to 346K: An unexpected higher number of claims can send the pair below one support line.
  3. Well above expectations: Above 346K: Weak employment numbers could push USD/JPY downwards, and two or more support lines might be broken on such an outcome.
  4. Below expectations: 320K to 326K: A strong reading could push USD/JPY higher, and one resistance line could be broken.
  5. Well below expectations: Below 320K. In this scenario, the pair could break through two or more lines of resistance.

For more on the yen, see the USD/JPY forecast.

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About Author

Kenny Fisher - Senior Writer A native of Toronto, Canada, Kenneth worked for seven years in the marketing and trading departments at Bendix, a foreign exchange company in Toronto. Kenneth is also a lawyer, and has extensive experience as an editor and writer.

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