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USD/JPY Continues to Search for Support as Risk Appetite Abates

USD/JPY Continues to Search for Support as Risk Appetite Abates

Talking Points:

- USD/JPY Searches for Support as Risk Sentiment Abates; RSI Approaches Oversold Territory.

- GBP/USD Struggles to Clear 1.2490 Hurdle Ahead of U.K. Retail Sales.

DailyFX Table
CurrencyLastHighLowDaily Change (pip)Daily Range (pip)


USD/JPY Daily Chart

Chart - Created Using Trading View

  • USD/JPY grinds to a fresh 2017-low of 110.75 as risk sentiment continues to abate, with the pair at risk for further losses as it extends the series of lower highs & lows from the previous the week; keeping a close eye on the Relative Strength Index (RSI) for confirmation/conviction as the oscillator threatens the bullish formation carried over from the previous year and approaches oversold territory.
  • The Nikkei (JPN225) highlights a similar behavior as the benchmark equity index slips to fresh monthly low (18,962) and appears to be on course to test the 2017-low (18,638)going into Japan’s fiscal year-end; the shift in market behavior appears to be a growing theme as the DAX (GER30) also gives back the advance from earlier this month.
  • Despite the limited market reaction to the Bank of Japan (BoJ) Minutes, the Yen may continue to track risk sentiment as Governor Haruhiko Kuroda and Co. carry out the Quantitative/Qualitative Easing (QQE) Program with Yield-Curve Control; nevertheless, the central bank may come under increased pressure to further support the real economy as ‘a few members expressed the view that the rate of change in the CPI would not reach around 2 percent during the projection period,’ and the deviating paths for monetary policy may continue to instill a long-term bullish outlook for USD/JPY as the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) pledges to further normalize monetary policy in 2017.
  • Nevertheless, the recent decline in USD/JPY suggests a broader shift in market behavior is underway going into the final days of May, with a close below the Fibonacci overlap around 111.30 (50% retracement) to 111.60 (38.2% retracement) raising the risk for a move back towards the next downside region of interest around 109.40 (50% retracement) to 109.90 (78.6% expansion).
CurrencyLastHighLowDaily Change (pip)Daily Range (pip)


GBP/USD Daily Chart

Chart - Created Using Trading View

  • GBP/USD pares the advance from earlier this week, with the pair at risk for further losses as it struggles to clear the Fibonacci overlap around 1.2460 (61.8% expansion) to 1.2490 (38.2% retracement); moreover, the recent pickup in the RSI appears to be losing momentum as the oscillator appears to be turning around from trendline resistance.
  • Despite forecasts for a 0.3% rebound in U.K. Retail Sales, the marked expansion in headline and core inflation may sap disposable incomes especially as the Bank of England (BoE) expects private-sector consumption ‘to slow further during the year ahead as the fall in sterling fed through to higher prices, reducing households’ purchasing power.’
  • With that said, Kristin Forbes’ push to raise the benchmark interest rate by 25bp may fail to bear fruit as officials argue ‘pay growth has remained subdued, while measures of inflation expectations remain at levels broadly consistent with the achievement of the inflation target,’ and the majority may continue to endorse a wait-and-see approach at the next policy meeting on May 11 as the U .K. plans to start its departure from the European Union (EU) on March 29.

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  • Retail trader data shows 74.5% of traders are net-long USD/JPY with the ratio of traders long to short at 2.92 to 1. In fact, traders have remained net-long since January 9 when USD/JPY traded near 116.304; price has moved 4.5% lower since then. The number of traders net-long is 11.7% higher than yesterday and 5.7% higher from last week, while the number of traders net-short is 10.1% lower than yesterday and 26.5% lower from last week.
  • Retail trader data shows 48.4% of traders are net-long GBP/USD with the ratio of traders short to long at 1.07 to 1. The number of traders net-long is 8.2% lower than yesterday and 33.2% lower from last week, while the number of traders net-short is 12.9% higher than yesterday and 70.1% higher from last week.
  • The jump in net-short GBP/USD positions suggests the retail crowd is looking for range-bound conditions to persist over the coming days, while the decline in net-short USD/JPY interest could be attributed to month/quarter-end flows.

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--- Written by David Song, Currency Analyst

To contact David, e-mail Follow me on Twitter at @DavidJSong.

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DailyFX provides forex news and technical analysis on the trends that influence the global currency markets.