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Talking Points:

  • The Japanese Yen seemed to gain after a look at nationwide department store sales was less gloomy than the previous edition
  • However, USD/JPY topped out earlier in the Asian session and was already fading a little
  • The overall strong-US-Dollar trend looks safe

The Japanese Yen gained just little on the US Dollar Tuesday following news that department store sales in its home nation were less weak in January than they’d been the previous month.

Nationwide sales fell by 1.2% compared with January 2016. That obviously wasn’t great news but it was better than December’s 1.7% slide. Likewise, January’s supermarket-only sales fell 1.6% on the year, but that was better than the prior month’s 2% fall.

While these numbers clearly don’t scream support for Japanese consumer demand they are at least heading in the right direction, something which will please Tokyo policy makers.

It’s been a busy day for Japanese data and not that much of it has done Yen bulls any good. A key survey of the manufacturing sector came in close to three-year highs. A look at all-industry output was rather more downbeat but, as it covered December, the markets took it as a history lesson rather than a pointer at things to come.

The US Dollar had been rising across the board through the session as investors suspect higher US interest rates won’t be long in coming. They’re also looking hopefully to the White House and the possibility of some expansive fiscal policy.

USD/JPY seems to have stalled in the 113.70 area, which is a five-day peak. It had been inching lower since topping out there earlier in Asia and continued to do so after the department-store sales data.

It slipped to 113.54 after the release, from 113.57 before it.

Retreating from the peak: USD/JPY

Yen Gets Small Lift From Less-Weak National Store Sales

Chart Compiled Using TradingView

It’s your favorite currency, but is it anyone else’s? Have a look at the DailyFX sentiment page.

--- Written by David Cottle, DailyFX Research

Contact and follow David on Twitter: @DavidCottleFX