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Japanese Yen at Risk for Further Weakness on Slowing Recovery

Japanese Yen at Risk for Further Weakness on Slowing Recovery

2012-08-17 22:39:00
David Song, Strategist
Japanese_Yen_at_Risk_for_Further_Weakness_on_Slowing_Recovery_body_Picture_5.png, Japanese Yen at Risk for Further Weakness on Slowing Recovery

Fundamental Forecast for Japanese Yen: Bearish

The Japanese Yen struggled to maintain the range-bound price action against the U.S. dollar, with the USDJPY rallying to a fresh monthly high of 79.56, and the low-yielding currency may depreciate further in the week ahead as the economic docket continues to cast a weakened outlook for the region. As Japan’s 2Q GDP report highlights a slowing recovery, the adjusted trade deficit is projected to widen to JPY 460B from JPY 300.8B in June, and we may see Bank of Japan Governor Masaaki Shirakawa continue to talk up speculation for additional monetary support as the central bank ’stand ready to take appropriate actions without ruling out any options in advance.’

Indeed, it seems as though the BoJ is looking beyond its current policy tools to stimulate the ailing economy and the central bank head may embark on a more aggressive approach to dampen the appeal of the Yen as the ongoing strength in the local currency drags on the recovery. At the same time, the Cabinet Office’s monthly economic report may fuel speculation for a currency intervention as Japanese policy makers attempt to talk down the Yen, and we may see the government put increased pressure on the BoJ amid the persistent threat for deflation. As the central bank struggles to achieve the 1% target for inflation, we should see the BoJ continue to carry out its easing cycle throughout the remainder of the year, and the deviation in the policy outlook may push the USDJPY higher over the medium-term as the Federal Reserve moves away from quantitative easing. However, as positive real interest rates in Japan continue to prop up the low-yielding currency, a drop in risk-taking behavior may spark greater demands for the Yen, and we may see a short-term pullback over the coming days as the pair appears to be stuck in a consolidation pattern.

The USDJPY appears to be trading within a symmetrical triangle following the failed run at the 100-Day SMA (79.62), and we may see a small move back to the downside next week as the relative strength index approaches overbought territory. Nevertheless, as the USDJPY carves out short-term base ahead of the June low (77.65), the higher low in the exchange rate instills a bullish outlook for the medium-term, and we anticipate to see the pair track higher over the remainder of the year as the Fed remains well positioned to normalize monetary policy ahead of its Japanese counterpart. - DS

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