USD/JPY Climbs Toward 149.00, US Data Watched
The USD/JPY pair continued its upward trajectory, reaching approximately 148.80 during the Asian session on Wednesday. This consecutive gain followed a rebound in the previous session, driven by a positive risk sentiment amidst ongoing Middle East conflict.
One noteworthy development is the Bank of Japan’s (BoJ) contemplation of revising its fiscal year 2023/24 core Consumer Price Index (CPI) estimate. They are aiming for a 3% target, up from the previous forecast of 2.5%, reflecting an optimistic outlook on inflation. This potential shift in the BoJ’s stance has implications for currency dynamics.
Adding complexity to the situation is China’s Country Garden facing the prospect of defaulting on a $15 million coupon payment. This issue is particularly relevant given the challenges in the Chinese property sector, even as the overall Chinese economy exhibits signs of recovery. Any disruption in China’s economic landscape can have a cascading effect on the Japanese Yen due to the intertwined nature of their economic relations.
Moreover, the recent decline in Japan’s non-seasonally adjusted Current Account for August, falling short of expectations, raises concerns within the broader economic context. The report posted a reading of ¥2,279.7B, well below the forecast of ¥3,090.9B and the previous reading of ¥2,771.7B. Although the Japanese economic calendar for the remainder of the week is relatively thin, this disappointing data point warrants attention.
Finance Minister Shunichi Suzuki’s remarks about the Yen’s weakening, partly attributed to interest rate differentials, shed light on the factors influencing currency fluctuations. As Japan leads a meeting of finance ministers and central bank governors from the Group of Seven (G7) nations on October 12, they have a platform to address critical global issues, including the Ukraine conflict and the state of the world economy.
On the other side of the equation, a series of dovish-leaning comments from Federal Reserve (Fed) policymakers has emerged, expressing concerns that higher long-term US Treasury yields could obstruct their intention to raise rates in upcoming meetings. Atlanta’s Fed President Raphael Bostic has argued that the current monetary policy is already restrictive, and additional rate hikes may not be necessary. This dovish interest rate perspective was echoed by two other Fed officials earlier in the week.
The US Dollar Index (DXY) rebounded from intraday losses and is presently trading around 105.80. However, the 10-year US Treasury bond yield remains lower at 4.63% as of the latest update.
Market participants will closely monitor economic data in the days ahead, with a particular focus on inflation indicators. The Producer Price Index (PPI) is on the schedule for Wednesday, followed by the release of the FOMC meeting minutes and the Consumer Price Index (CPI) on Thursday. These data points will be pivotal in shaping market sentiment and currency movements in the near term.