Monday, January 2, 2017

USD/JPY has recorded gains on Friday

USD/JPY has recorded gains on Friday, erasing the losses which marked the Thursday session. Currently, USD/JPY is trading at the 117 line. There are no Japanese releases on the schedule. In the US, the sole event is Chicago PMI, with the markets expecting the indicator to dip to 56.5 points.
The yen moved higher on Thursday, courtesy of an optimistic report from the Bank of Japan. The bank’s Summary of Opinion, which was modestly upbeat, comes on the heels of last week’s rate statement, where the BoJ held rates at -0.10%. The summary noted that the economy is showing “moderate recovery”, boosted by stronger exports and steady consumer consumption. The report gave a thumbs up to the economy, stating that growth was expected to remain strong. Despite the optimistic tone of the BoJ, this week’s key consumer indicators pointed to persistent weakness in inflation and spending. Household Spending declined 1.5%, marking a ninth straight decline. The markets had predicted a small gain of 0.2%. The Japanese economy continues to grapple with deflation, as underscored by Tokyo Core CPI. The key indicator came in at -0.6%, weaker than the estimate of -0.4%. The BoJ continues to cling to its inflation target of 2.0%, but this goal is unlikely to be realized anytime soon. At the same time, the Japanese yen is down sharply, losing 11% since November 1. If the US economy continues to heat up in 2017, we could see the Fed step in with further rate hikes, which would likely push the yen to lower levels.