Currency Analyst since 2010

USD/JPY: forecast for March 23-29

Elizaveta Belugina

During the past week the advance of USD/JPY halted, and levels above the 122.00 handle were unattainable for the bulls. US dollar tested 119.30 before recovering above 120.50.

The pair was driven mainly by the news from the United States about the Federal Reserve’s policy. As the Fed provided a more dovish stance on interest rates, the greenback’s appreciation slowed down. The overall trend for the US currency, however, is still bullish as American economic fundamentals are better than in other advanced economies including Japan.

As for the Bank of Japan, it left the policy unchanged in March in line with market’s expectations. On the one hand, Japanese policymakers keep repeating that they will reach the 2% inflation target in the year beginning in April, even if to do this they will have to increase monetary stimulus. At the same time, the minutes of the central bank’s February meeting showed that government officials who were present at the meeting said that there’s no need to hurry with encouraging inflation.

The bottom line is that although the medium-term outlook is positive, right now USD/JPY has few drivers for a decisive growth. Note that as we’re getting closer to the end of the month and the end of the fiscal year in Japan, demand for Japanese currency will go up as a result of the profit repatriation by Japanese companies. Next week all eyes will be on the US economic releases, especially inflation figures. Only on Friday there will be a block of economic statistics from Japan including inflation, retail sales & household spending data. Trading will likely be once again taking place in the 120.00/122.00 range.

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