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Yen Posts Brief Gains After Japan Sales Data Beats Expectations

Yen Posts Brief Gains After Japan Sales Data Beats Expectations

David Cottle, Analyst

Talking Points

  • The Yen caught a modest bid after some perky Japanese retail sales data
  • The numbers came in well ahead of economists’ gloomy estimates
  • But, this doesn’t look like a market that wants to be selling USD/JPY

The Japanese Yen rose a little against the US Dollar, but soon surrendered gains early in Tuesday’s Asian session after official Japanese retail sales figures handily topped market expectations.

Sales rose 2.5% month-on-month in October, much ahead of the 1.1% rise economists had been looking for. Receipts fell 0.1% year-on-year but that was much better than the expected 1.6% slide.

The data was not all good news however. The monthly retail sales surge may simply represent an ongoing bounce back from August’s nadir, which was blamed on poor weather. Household spending also fell by 0.4%, for an eighth straight month of falls. Much of Japan’s domestic economic policy is aimed at boosting consumption and through that, hopefully, stagnant prices, so any hints that that might be bearing fruit tends to support the Yen.

USD/JPY slipped to its Asia session low of 111.60 after the numbers. It had been 111.835 just before their release. However, the US Dollar soon regained its previous levels.

Overall, the perky US Dollar took a little breather early in Asia on Tuesday. However, it remains on track for its strongest overall two month gain since early last year. But the Dollar Index, which tracks the greenback’s progress against a basket of widely-traded peers, slipped back a little from near 14-year peaks.

The final piece of key data released in a busy morning for Japan was the unemployment rate. That stayed at 3% in October. This was as expected by the markets.

Down and back again - USD/JPY (1min chart)

Yen Posts Brief Gains After Japan Sales Data Beats Expectations

Chart compiled using TradingView

--- Written by David Cottle, DailyFX Research

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