News & Analyses

USD/JPY holds positive ground around 151.50 following Japanese CPI data

  • USD/JPY trades on a stronger note around the mid-151.00s on Friday. 
  • Japan’s Kishida said it was appropriate for the BoJ to maintain easy monetary policy. 
  • Fed’s Waller stated there is no rush to cut rate and need to maintain it for longer than expected

The USD/JPY pair holds positive ground for the second consecutive day near 151.45 on Friday during the early Asian trading hours. The cautious approach from the Bank of Japan (BoJ) to keep monetary conditions accommodative exerts some selling pressure on the Japanese Yen (JPY). Additionally, the hawkish comments from the Federal Reserve (Fed) officials provide some support to the US Dollar (USD) and USD/JPY. 

Data released from the Statistics Bureau of Japan reported that the headline Tokyo Consumer Price Index (CPI) for March climbed 2.6% YoY following a 2.6% rise in February. Meanwhile, the Tokyo CPI ex Fresh Food, Energy climbed 2.9% YoY, down from a 3.1% rise in February. However, the JPY remains on the defensive following the Japanese inflation data and the dovish comments from the Japanese authorities. 

On Thursday, Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said that it was appropriate for the central bank to “maintain accommodative monetary conditions.” Kishida further stated that the government will continue to work closely with the BoJ to ensure wages continue to rise and the economy exits from deflation. 

Nonetheless, the potential intervention from the Japanese authorities might cap the weakening of the JPY. Japan finance minister Shunichi Suzuki came in some verbal intervention on Friday, saying that he will closely watch the foreign exchange moves with a high sense of urgency and will not rule out any actions to respond to disorderly the FX moves.

On the USD’s front, stronger US economic data and the high-for-longer rate narrative from the Fed lift the Greenback against its rivals. The Fed Governor Christopher Waller, the most outspoken policy hawk, said on Thursday that the central bank is in no rush to cut the benchmark rate and may need to “maintain the current rate target for longer than expected.” Waller added that they need to see more inflation progress before supporting rate cuts.

Next week, Japan’s Tankan Large Manufacturing Index for the first quarter (Q1), along with the US ISM Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) report, will be due. The US Nonfarm Payrolls (NFP) for March on April 5 will be a closely watched event. 


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