USD/JPY holds steady after Japan’s National CPI, remains below 150.00 intervention level


  • USD/JPY attracts some dip-buying on Friday, albeit lacks any strong follow-through.
  • The divergent BoJ-Fed policy stance turns out to be a key factor acting as a tailwind.
  • The risk-off mood undermines the JPY amid intervention fears and caps the upside.

The USD/JPY pair ticks higher during the Asian session on Friday and reverses a part of the previous day’s modest retracement slide from the vicinity of the 150.00 psychological mark or over a two-week high. Spot prices currently trade around the 149.80-149.85 region, though lack any meaningful buying.

The Japanese Yen (JPY) continues with its relative underperformance in the wake of the Bank of Japan’s dovish stance (BoJ) and turns out to be a key factor acting as a tailwind for the USD/JPY pair. In fact, the BoJ sticks to its view that inflation is transient and has no plans to phase out its massive monetary stimulus. In contrast, the Federal Reserve (Fed) Chair Jerome Powell said on Thursday that inflation was still too high and would likely require lower economic growth.

Powell also added that monetary policy was not yet too tight, which keeps the yield on the benchmark 10-year US government bond elevated near the 5% threshold, or a 16-year peak touched the previous day. This, in turn, continues to underpin the US Dollar (USD) and lends additional support to the USD/JPY pair. That said, speculations that Japan will intervene in the FX market to combat a sustained depreciation in the JPY cap any further gains for the major.

Apart from this, the prevalent risk-off environment benefits the safe-haven JPY and contributes to keeping a lid on the USD/JPY pair. Spot prices, meanwhile, moved little following the release of the latest consumer inflation figures from Japan, which showed that the headline CPI eased from a 3.2% YoY rate to 3% in September. Adding to this, the National Core CPI, which excludes volatile fresh food prices, fell below the 3% mark for the first time in 13 months.

That said, a bulk of the decline was led by government subsidies on electricity and gas prices, which were rolled out earlier this year. Moreover, a core reading that excludes both fresh food and fuel prices remains close to a 40-year peak and came in at a 4.2% YoY rate during the reported month. This suggests that the underlying inflation remains elevated and warrants some action from the BoJ, though fails to provide any impetus to the JPY or the USD/JPY pair.

Moving ahead, there isn’t any relevant market-moving economic data due for release from the US on Friday. Hence, investors will take cues from speeches by influential FOMC members, which, along with the US bond yields, will influence the USD price dynamics and provide some impetus to the USD/JPY pair. Apart from this, the broader risk sentiment might contribute to producing short-term trading opportunities on the last day of the week.

Technical levels to watch