Thursday, August 21, 2014

USD/JPY

The US dollar continues to gain ground against the Japanese yen, as USD/JPY flirts with the 104 range early in the North American session. On the release front, Japanese Manufacturing PMI improved to 52.4 points, beating the estimate. US Unemployment Claims beat the estimate, coming in at 298 thousand. Later in the day, we’ll get a look at the Philly Fed Manufacturing Index. The markets are braced for a sharp drop in the July reading.
In a highly anticipated event, the Federal Reserve released its policy meeting minutes on Wednesday. The minutes were hawkish in tone, with the Fed saying that an interest rate hike could come sooner rather than later if employment numbers continue to improve. The Fed said that the economy continues to improve, but the QE program, which is scheduled to wind up in October, will not be accelerated. The US dollar was broadly higher after the release of the minutes and gained about 80 points on Wednesday at the yen’s expense.

Gold prices are lower on Wednesday, as the metal has slipped to two-month lows. The spot price stands at $1281.34 per ounce in the European session. On the release front, it’s a busy day in the US, led by two key events Unemployment Claims and the Philly Fed Manufacturing Index. On Wednesday, the Federal Reserve released its minutes, and the hawkish tone gave a boost to the US dollar and pushed gold prices lower.