USD/JPY remains sluggish around 115.50 amid Japan decline
USD/JPY is hovering around 115.60 as holidays in Japan and lack of major data/events limited the pair’s move during Monday’s Asian session. Besides the lack of domestic companies, which are key to the global bond market, mixed concerns about the next move by the Fed and the coronavirus are also limiting the pair’s latest moves on the risk barometer. The US Dollar Index (DXY) posted its biggest daily loss in six weeks after the December jobs report failed to impress Fed advocates. That said, US Non-Farm Payrolls (NFP) disappointed markets with 199k numbers for December versus previous 400k and 249k forecasts (upgraded from 210k) thousand). However, the unemployment rate fell to 3.9% from 4.1% in the market and 4.2% in November, while the U6 underemployment rate fell to 7.3% from 7. .7% revised down in November, both closing pre-pandemic levels.
It should be noted, however, that the disappointment led by the NFP has been largely offset by the unemployment and underemployment rates in the U6 age group, which appear to be challenging market sentiment during the period recent times. As a result, market bets on the Fed’s March 2022 rate hike remain at 80%, following Friday’s increase to 90% prior to data.
Returning home, Okinawa, Hiroshima and Yamaguchi prefectures are seeing new virus activity restrictions starting Sunday, lasting until January 31. An increase in infections that the governors their say is derived from the spread of the Omicron variant in US facilities,” said Kyodo News. Elsewhere, struggles between the United States and China continued, recently over trade and human rights issues, as the Russia-Ukraine issue drew attention ahead of Washington’s meeting in Moscow this week. Between those games, S&P 500 futures are down 0.20% while non-Japanese Asia Pacific stocks trade mixed at press time. A light schedule could then limit market movement beyond the Japanese public holidays. However, the cautious sentiment as US inflation figures this week and December retail sales approach could drive US Treasury yields higher, which in turn could lead USD/JPY buyers to lose ground Mandarin. A clear downside break of the three-week-old ascending trend line, near 115.80 by the press time, keeps USD/JPY sellers hopeful around November’s peak of 115.52.