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BoJ preview - what to expect in USD/JPY?

Discussion in 'Fundamental Analysis' started by FXStreet_Team, Jan 29, 2016.

  1. FXStreet_Team

    FXStreet_Team Well-Known Member Trader

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    FXStreet (Guatemala) - The Bank of Japan meetings have not been big events and have echoed time and time again the same song. However, there is a big amount of anticipation on today's outcome of the Central Bank's meeting and markets are fastening their seat belts for this one.

    USD/JPY has the potential to be a big mover should the BoJ pull out all the stops to try and resolve the elusive 2% inflation target while the price of both oil and the Yen are concerning to Japan's authorities.

    An increase in the BoJ's annual pace of money base expansion from the current JPY80trn would be aggressive and would signal to the market that the BoJ and Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's administration are more concerned about the outlook than they have been letting on. However, analysts at Westpac have noted that only about 1 in 8 economists in a Bloomberg survey expects an increase in the annual pace of money base expansion from the current JPY80trn. "But Westpac shares the view of a number of other forecasters that QE will be expanded at some point this year as the 2% inflation target remains elusive, so risks of a surprise are reasonable today, say 10-15%," explained the analysts.

    Japan: Inflation strengthens case for further BOJ easing

    What to expect in USD/JPY?

    There are a few scenarios, a) no change, b) changes to the composition of asset purchasing and c) full on expansion of QQE. Casting minds back to last month's dual meeting, when the Bank of Japan set off a day of confusion in financial markets when they unexpectedly changed the composition of purchases but later insisted that this was not an increase in stimulus, this might have been perceived as the Bank setting the foundations for an expansion of QQE. USD/JPY rallied on the 117 handle to 118.00 but the move was short lived.

    Today, as noted by the analyst at Westpac, "It is again possible that the BoJ makes some changes in the composition of asset purchases, with risks towards ETFs and REITS at the expense of JGBs." Depending on the outcome, 120.00 is achievable on a full-on increase/expansion as price targets a full recovery of the 2016 downtrend but given the dovish FOMC the upside is also limited.

    bearish/bullish cases for USD/JPY

    A no change is supportive to the Yen while similar tweaks as in December should see some support for USD/JPY targeting the 200 sma on the 4hr chart at 119.21 at the time of writing. The analysts at Westpac suggested that the announcement should come at the later end of the range of potential release times, "Probably nearer 12:30pm Tokyo than 11:30am, perhaps even 1pm."

    Markets are losing faith in the BoJ

    In any outcome, markets are increasingly concerned for the little headway Japan has been making. Besides the initial stimulus in 2013 when inflation peaked in early 2014, there have been little signs that anything has worked since to stabilize the economy towards growth.

    It was not long ago when the economy technically fell back into recession, at the end of last year and with a rising government debt burden, now already in excess of 240 percent of gross domestic product, the world's highest, the BoJ is being scrutinised. The BoJ could be said to be making the mistake of insufficiency while their inflation target is disappearing over the horizon. Until now, the most visibly effective part of the Abenomics program has been monetary policy with the BOJ having pioneered quantitative easing.

    USD/JPY levels to monitor

    Technically, Valeria Bednarik, chief analyst at FXStreet explained, "Short term, the 1 hour chart shows that the price has been confined to a tight intraday range above its 100 SMA, the immediate support now around 1118.50. In the same chart, the technical indicators have turned south around their mid-lines, lacking directional strength at the time being. In the 4 hours chart, the pair is halfway between its moving averages, while the technical indicators have turned south, but remain above their mid-lines. The JPY may likely appreciate if the BOJ remains on hold, with a break below 118.10 opening doors for a steady decline on Friday."

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