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The Japanese yen is swinging sharply on Friday. In the European session, USD/JPY is trading at 156.46, up 0.52%.

It has been a busy Friday in Japan. Japanese inflation data, which was released just before the end of the Bank of Japan meeting, was much lower than expected. Tokyo Core CPI, which was overshadowed by the Bank of Japan’s meeting today, eased to 1.6% y/y in April, well below the market consensus of 2.2% and the March reading of 2.4%. This was the lowest level since March 2022.

Tokyo core-core CPI, which excludes fresh food and fuel, slipped to 1.6% y/y in April, down from 2.4% in March and well below the market consensus of 2.7%. This was the lowest pace of inflation since September 2022.

Core inflation is still running above the BoJ’s 2% target, but the Tokyo inflation data raises the question of whether domestic demand and wage growth will increase sufficiently to keep inflation sustainable at the 2% level. Governor Ueda has stated that the service inflation will be a key factor in determining the next rate hike.

At today’s BoJ policy meeting, policy makers maintained the benchmark rate at 0%-0.1% and said they would maintain an accommodative policy “for the time being”. The rate statement did not address the yen, but Governor Ueda issued a warning at his press conference, saying, if yen moves have an effect on the economy and prices that is hard to ignore, it could be a reason to adjust policy”.

The BoJ also raised its outlook for inflation in fiscal 2024 to between 2.5% and 3%, up from 2.2% to 2.5% in the January forecast. At the same time, it downgraded growth projections for fiscal 2024 to between 0.7% to 1%, down from 1% to 1.2% in January.

USD/JPY Technical

  • USD/JPY tested resistance at 155.96 earlier. Above, there is resistance at 157.13
  • There is support at 154.13 and 153.47


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