Forex Opinion & Analysis

USD/JPY Gains Ground, Fed Minutes Show Policy Divisions

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  • FOMC minutes highlight policy divisions
  • USD/JPY falls sharply
  • Japan releases Household Spending and Average Cash Earnings on Friday

The Japanese yen is showing strong gains on Thursday. In the European session, USD/JPY is trading at 143.82, down 0.57%.

Fed minutes point to disagreement over rate path

The Federal Reserve has been aggressively tightening rates in order to curb inflation but took a pause in June after ten consecutive hikes. At the meeting, the Fed said that a pause would provide members with time to assess the impact of the hikes, which have amounted to some 500 basis points.

The minutes of the June meeting were significant in highlighting that Fed members were in disagreement about the decision to pause rates. The decision to pause may have been unanimous, but the minutes made it clear that there was a difference of opinions, with some members preferring a hike but reluctantly agreeing to a pause. There was also disagreement over the pace of tightening in the second half of the year, with 16 of 18 members expecting at least one hike and 12 members expecting two or more hikes.

After the minutes, the money markets slightly raised the probability of a 0.25% hike in July from 86% to 91%, according to the CME FedWatch tool. The pricing could continue to change, with two key reports ahead of the July meeting. The non-farm payrolls report will be released on Friday. Job growth is expected to have cooled to 225,000 in June, down sharply from 339,000 in May. This will be followed by the June inflation report next week, with headline inflation expected to fall from 4.0% to around 3.0%.

Japan releases Household Spending and Average Cash Earnings on Friday. Household Spending declined by 4.4% in April and another decline of 2.4% is expected for May, as inflation has dampened consumer spending. Average Cash Earnings gained 1% in May and the consensus for June stands at 0.7%.

USD/JPY Daily Chart

USD/JPY Technical

  • There is resistance at 145.28 and 146.23
  • 144.11 is a weak support level. The next support line is 143.16

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