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Will the BoJ Rate Decision Halt the Japanese Yen Correction?

Will the BoJ Rate Decision Halt the Japanese Yen Correction?

David Song, Strategist
Will_the_BoJ_Rate_Decision_Halt_the_Japanese_Yen_Correction_body_Picture_2.png, Will the BoJ Rate Decision Halt the Japanese Yen Correction?Will_the_BoJ_Rate_Decision_Halt_the_Japanese_Yen_Correction_body_Picture_1.png, Will the BoJ Rate Decision Halt the Japanese Yen Correction?

Will the BoJ Rate Decision Halt the Japanese Yen Correction?

Fundamental Forecast for Japanese Yen: Neutral

The Japanese Yen gained ground ahead of the Bank of Japan (BoJ) interest rate decision, with the USDJPY tumbling to a fresh monthly low of 94.97, and the near-term correction may continue to take shape in the week ahead should the central bank sticks to the sidelines. Although the U.S. Non-Farm Payrolls report pushed the USDJPY back above the 97.00 handle, the final 1Q GDP reading for Japan is expected to show the region growing at an annualized pace of 3.5%, and the fundamental developments coming out of the region may prompt the BoJ to soften its approach in achieving the 2% target for inflation as the world’s third-largest economy skirts a triple-dip recession.

Indeed, the BoJ is expected to retain its current policy after increasing its purchases of Japanese Government Bonds (JGB), exchange-traded funds (ETF) and real estate investment trusts (REIT), but the quantitative and qualitative approach may continue to come under scrutiny in light of the increased volatility across the Japanese market. In turn, there’s growing speculation that the BoJ will implement new measures to quell the sharp movements in the financial sector, and we may see Governor Haruhiko Kuroda increase his pledge to deliver financial stability even as the central bank pushes into uncharted territory. As the BoJ assesses the impact on the real economy, the board looks poised to carry a wait-and-see approach into the second-half of the year, but the central bank may come under pressure to further support the ailing economy as Prime Minister Shinzo Abe delays plans to implement the governments new growth strategy. As a result, we may see the BoJ broaden the scope as well as the time horizon for its non-standard measures in the coming months, and the board may further embark on its easing cycle in the second-half of the year as the region continues to face negative price growth.

Although the pullback from 103.72 looks like a key reversal, the sharp selloff appears to be more of a correction given the policy outlook, and we will keep a close eye on the relative strength index as it comes up against oversold territory. As we wait for the oscillator to breakout of the downward trend carried over from the previous month, we may see a higher low take shape in the days ahead, and the USDJPY remains poised to track higher over the near to medium-term as the Federal Reserve shows a greater willingness to scale back on quantitative easing. - DS

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