GBP/JPY hung in the middle, cycling 183.50 as UK unemployment, manufacturing data round the corner


  • The GBP/JPY sees challenges as the Pound Sterling and Yen play tug-of-war on the charts.
  • GBP to feature heavily on the economic calendar for this week, BoJ comments keeping the Yen strung up.
  • Market reactions to data will set the direction for the Guppy after weekend BoJ policy statements rile things up. 

The GBP/JPY pairing is set to finish the day nearly where it started after Monday market flows saw the Guppy trade back-and-forth on shifting sentiment. 

Pound Sterling (GBP) traders are positioning themselves ahead of a United Kingdom (UK) data-heavy economic calendar for the first half of the week, and the Yen (JPY) is finding broad-market support following weekend comments from Bank of Japan (BoJ) officials hinting at the end of negative rates for Japan.

UK data to feature heavily through Wednesday

The GBP will be facing off against the economic calendar through Tuesday and Wednesday; economic data has struggled to meet market expectations as of late, prompting routine sell-offs for the Pound Sterling across the board as data points for the UK’s economy continue to wallow on the low end, prompting particularly dovish showings from the Bank of England (BoE) of late.

Tuesday will see wage growth and unemployment figures, with Wednesday bringing Gross Domestic Product (GDP) numbers, alongside manufacturing and industrial performance. 

The UK’s Chancellor of the Exchequer Jeremy Hunt hit the wires on Monday, noting that the UK faces stickier inflation than previously forecast. Due in no small part to still-high wage growth figures, which are expected to show only mild declines this week.

Elsewhere on the docket, Unemployment Rate and Manufacturing figures are expected to worsen, albeit slightly.

GBP economic calendar events, Monday through Wednesday. All times GMT.

The BoJ’s Governor Kazuo Ueda paved the way for speculation about the end of the Japanese central bank’s negative interest rate policy while making comments over the weekend. 

During an interview with Yomiuri Shimbun newspaper, Governor Ueda made it very clear that any changes in the BoJ’s rate policy will depend on data showing the BoJ is approaching its 2% inflation target.

This follows soft comments from other BoJ officials last week, meant to target the Yen and discourage further declines in the Japanese currency in an echo of similar activities around this time last year that saw the Japanese central bank conducting open market operations to defend the declining Yen. Prior to that, the BoJ had not conducted open currency market operations since the late 90s.

GBP/JPY technical outlook

Current action sees the Guppy trading into the middle where markets kicked off on Monday, reaching an intraday low of 182.68 before recovering to make a run to 183.90, and is currently settling somewhere in the middle ground.

The Pound Sterling may have finally slipped the 184.00 major handle, a significant psychological level in recent trading history, and a continued slide down will see the GBP/JPY pair challenging old support levels from 181.00 to 180.00. On the bullish side, a fresh break upwards will see challenges from 185.60 to 186.60.

GBP/JPY Daily chart