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Japanese Yen's Momentum Wanes Ahead of Key US Economic Data and Powell's Speech

1 December 2023 Written by Anna Segal  Finance Industry Expert Anna Segal

The Japanese Yen (JPY) initially showed an uptick against the U.S. Dollar (USD) on Friday but lost traction as the trading session progressed. The divergent monetary policies of the Federal Reserve (Fed) and the Bank of Japan (BoJ) are restraining further gains for the USD/JPY pair. The market's focus now shifts to the upcoming U.S. ISM PMI and remarks from Fed Chair Jerome Powell for directional impetus.

Recent less-hawkish comments from BoJ officials, including board members Seiji Adachi and Toyoaki Nakamura, have dampened expectations of an early shift away from ultra-loose monetary policies and negative interest rates. This stance, suggesting a continued dovish policy, has limited the strength of the JPY and contributed to a rebound in the USD/JPY pair, which has risen over 50 pips from its daily low.

Despite the USD's struggle to capitalize on its recovery from a multi-month low, spot prices remained stable above the 148.00 mark during the European session. The subdued demand for the USD is partly attributed to market beliefs that the Fed may halt interest rate hikes and possibly ease policies by early next year. This perception is bolstered by U.S. macroeconomic data indicating moderating inflation and a slowing labor market.

The Influence of China's Economic Signals

Mixed economic signals from China, against a backdrop of a gloomy global outlook, are enhancing the JPY's status as a relative safe haven. This is curbing any significant upward movement in the USD/JPY pair. Anticipation of Central Bank Leaders' Speeches Investors are now eagerly awaiting Fed Chair Powell's speech for new insights on interest rates and overall market direction. In the run-up to this event, the release of the U.S. ISM Manufacturing PMI could impact USD price dynamics, offering short-term trading opportunities.

Market Movers and Macroeconomic Indicators

The JPY is on track for its third consecutive week of gains against the USD. Key events and data impacting the pair include:

Technical Analysis of USD/JPY

From a technical perspective, the USD/JPY pair finds support near the 100-day SMA at approximately 147.15. If this level is breached, the pair could descend towards the mid-145.00s. On the upside, resistance is expected near the overnight swing high in the mid-148.00s. A break above this level could trigger a rally towards the 149.00 mark and potentially extend to the 149.55-149.60 zone, which would indicate a near-term bottom formation.

In the past 30 days, the Japanese Yen has shown varied performance against major currencies, with the most significant weakness noted against the New Zealand Dollar.

As the market awaits key economic data and speeches from central bank leaders, the Japanese Yen's recent gains against the USD appear to be losing momentum. The evolving monetary policy landscape, coupled with global economic indicators, is likely to continue influencing the USD/JPY pair's trajectory in the near term.

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