USD/JPY: Japanese Yen Yawns After Mixed Business Confidence Report

The Japanese yen is coming off a quiet week and is showing little movement on Monday. In the European session, is trading at 151.38, up 0.03%.

Business Confidence Among Major Manufacturers Falls

The Bank of Japan’s Tankan business confidence survey was a mix and the yen showed a muted response. Business confidence for major Japanese manufacturers eased to 11 in the first quarter, down from a revised 13 in Q4 2023 but above the market estimate of 10. This was the first decline in four quarters and was attributed to weak activity in the auto sector due to production cuts.

The services sector showed an improvement in business confidence, rising to 34 in the fourth quarter, up from a revised 32 in Q4 2023 and just above the market estimate of 33. The index accelerated for an eighth straight quarter and hit its highest level in over 30 years.

With manufacturing and services both showing optimism, the readings are unlikely to change the BoJ’s policy outlook. The central bank lifted rates out of negative territory in late March but has signaled that it will not rush into another rate hike. BoJ policymakers will want to analyze additional data, especially inflation, as part of upcoming rate decisions.

The BoJ has set a rate target of 0% to 0.1%, so it’s fair to say that the central bank is moving very slowly in its tightening. With the Federal Reserve rate at 5% to 5.25%, the US/Japan rate differential was hardly dented by the BoJ rate hike, which explains why the yen didn’t get a boost after the move and remains at very low levels.USD/JPY-4-Hour Chart

USD/JPY Technical

  • USD/JPY is putting pressure on resistance at 151.45. Above, there is resistance at 151.87
  • There is support at 150.93 and 150.51

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