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USD/JPY Dips to 149.69 Amid BoJ’s Hawkish Shift and Market Risk-Off Mood

Amid a generally bullish sentiment for the US dollar, the USD/JPY exchange rate continued its descent, finding a bearish stronghold near the 149.69 level.

Hajime Takata, a board member of the Bank of Japan (BoJ), made hawkish comments that strengthened the Japanese yen (JPY) and exacerbated the pair’s decline, which further accelerated this downward trajectory.

USD/JPY Price Chart - Source: Tradingview

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Additionally, a prevailing risk-off sentiment in the markets further bolstered the appeal of the JPY as a safe-haven asset. Despite these pressures, the robust US dollar, buoyed by positive economic indicators and a forward-looking Federal Reserve, is expected to mitigate some of the pair’s losses.

Market Dynamics and Central Bank Insights

As the market anticipates the release of the US Personal Consumption Expenditures (PCE) Price Index, traders remain wary, understanding that this pivotal inflation data will significantly influence the Federal Reserve’s upcoming policy decisions and, consequently, the directional movement of the USD/JPY pair.

BOJ’s Policy Stance and Japan’s Economic Indicators

BoJ’s Takata has hinted at a potential shift in Japan’s ultra-accommodative monetary policy, acknowledging its proximity to achieving its inflation targets. This suggests a readiness for policy tightening, which has traditionally supported the yen, contributing to the USD/JPY’s decline.

Additionally, Japan’s Finance Minister, Masato Kanda, has expressed vigilance over currency fluctuations, indicating a willingness to intervene against excessive volatility.

Amid these developments, Japan reported a 2.3% increase in retail sales but a 7.5% decline in industrial production for January, painting a mixed picture of the Japanese economy that could influence the JPY’s valuation.

US Economic Outlook and Fed’s Monetary Policy

According to optimistic statements made by Federal Reserve officials, the United States has demonstrated economic resilience. Recent economic growth figures—a 3.2% increase in the last quarter, slightly below initial estimates—still demonstrate a strong economy.

Fed representatives, including New York’s John Williams and Atlanta’s Raphael Bostic, have provided nuanced views on the interest rate trajectory and inflation targets, underscoring the complexity of the current economic environment.

These developments have underpinned the dollar’s strength, offering a backdrop against which the USD/JPY pair’s future movements will be gauged, particularly in light of the upcoming inflation data release.

USD/JPY Price Forecast: Technical Outlook

The USD/JPY pair is currently trading at 149.82, marking a 0.65% decline in the latest session. The currency pair finds itself under pressure, with key technical levels suggesting a bearish outlook below the pivot point of 150.112.

Immediate resistance levels are identified at 150.828, 151.221, and 151.624, while support levels are poised at 149.699, 149.269, and 148.947. The RSI indicator at 33 underscores the bearish momentum, hinting at potential further declines.

USD/JPY Price Chart - Source: Tradingview

The 50-day EMA stands at 150.305, further reinforcing the current bearish trend. The technical analysis highlights double bottom support near 149.699 for the USD/JPY, indicating that a breach below this level could lead the pair towards 149.269.

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Arslan Butt
Index & Commodity Analyst
Arslan Butt serves as the Lead Commodities and Indices Analyst, bringing a wealth of expertise to the field. With an MBA in Behavioral Finance and active progress towards a Ph.D., Arslan possesses a deep understanding of market dynamics.His professional journey includes a significant role as a senior analyst at a leading brokerage firm, complementing his extensive experience as a market analyst and day trader. Adept in educating others, Arslan has a commendable track record as an instructor and public speaker.His incisive analyses, particularly within the realms of cryptocurrency and forex markets, are showcased across esteemed financial publications such as ForexCrunch, InsideBitcoins, and EconomyWatch, solidifying his reputation in the financial community.
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