Talking Points

  • The Yen slipped a little after a less-upbeat December assessment from Japan’s “economy watchers”
  • However, the previous month had marked 2016’s highs, so there was probably room for a pullback
  • The Asia session’s general US Dollar weakness is already creeping back to USD/JPY

The Japanese Yen ticked lower against the US Dollar following the release of a slightly more downbeat assessment of economic conditions in the world’s number three economy.

The December “Economy Watchers” index out of Japan scored the economic outlook at 50.9. This was below November’s 53.0 print. Current conditions, meanwhile, were assessed at 51.4. That was the same as the previous month’s revised score, but well below the initial assessment of 52.5.

This survey aims to get an accurate grip on Japanese activity by polling workers whose jobs tend to closely align to the economic cycle. These include retail employees, restaurant workers and the like. December’s numbers were a clear step back, but it’s probably worth bearing in mind that November’s assessment of current conditions was the highest score for 2016.

USD/JPY managed a mild rise just after the figures, in an Asian session that has been generally hard going for the US currency. President-elect Donald Trump failed to answer many of the markets’ burning questions about his policy agenda when he met the press in the US on Wednesday, with greenback weakness the result across the region.

That weakness already seems to be reasserting itself very soon after the figures, although USD/JPY did get up to 114.761 after the Japanese data, from 114.616 before their release.

Modest gains in a tough USD session. USD/JPY

Yen Ticks Down as Economy Watcher Sentiment Sours

Chart compiled using TradingView

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--- Written by David Cottle, DailyFX Research

Contact and follow David on Twitter:@DavidCottleFX