The Federal Reserve statement cited “solid job gains and lower unemployment rate” and suggested that there is a positive trend in labour resource utilisation: “a range of labor market indicators suggests that underutilization of labor resources is gradually diminishing”. The Fed continues to lean on its verbal arsenal rather than real action, such as QE. The first case of such verbal action was two weeks ago when Mr Bullard appeared on Bloomberg and suggested that there should be more QE. This appearance coincided with the US stock market being at major technical support; the stock market rallied from the level after his comments.
Now the Fed seemingly hopes to support the equity market by being bullish about growth in the USA. Even though the statement included a promise to keep the borrowing costs low for a “considerable time”, a wording that they have used frequently in the recent past, it is likely that interest rates will rise eventually and the Fed needs all the verbal bullishness it can muster. This in fact is the only option the Fed has if it wants to keep steering off from Quantitative Easing.
In Japan the Bank of Japan governor Kuroda is scheduled to appear before the parliament today and tomorrow will be the Bank of Japan press conference. Markets are not expecting new QE announcements from Japan tomorrow as only three of 32 economists surveyed by Bloomberg News this month predicted that policy makers would expand asset purchases at a meeting on Friday. According to Bloomberg the central bank buys about $64 billion of bonds each month.
For recent and upcoming economic reports see: HotForex Economic Calendar
USDJPY has moved higher from a support level and approaches the latest highs and weekly Bollinger Bands, a potential resistance area. USDJPY has been this high the last time in 2008. The weekly candle (hammer) suggests the trend higher will eventually continue and that the current resistance is eventually cleared. This is supported by the current view that the Fed is not likely to start another QE program while the Bank of Japan will continue being aggressive in their efforts to increase inflation via Quantitative Easing. Should there be changes to this underlying setup, the markets would surely re-price the USDJPY. In the near term we are likely witness some range bound price action as the USD bulls are trying to push the pair higher.
The pair has been rising higher in a well defined trend channel. After yesterday’s FOMC statement it shot up like a rocket and reached the level of daily Bollinger Bands. They coincide with the proximity of the upper end of the channel. At the same time the Stochastic Oscillator is deep in the overbought area. All this is reflected in the 4h candle forming a bearish shooting star (a sign of momentum reversal). Therefore I am expecting USDJPY to move lower from the current levels to the support below. The nearest 4h support level is also the daily high from 27th Oct at 108.40.
The 60 minute chart reveals a support level approximately at 108.90-108.95 which coincides with a 50 period SMA in the 15 minute chart. This area could theoretically act as a support, but the immediate upside seems to be limited. It isn’t typical for prices to keep on going higher if they’ve been moving in an uptrend and then get shot up to a resistance after a news event. In my experience buying after such a move is too risky and does not usually produce trades with good profit potential.
Conclusion: The pair is at a resistance area, but keeping the likely future central bank actions in mind it makes sense to expect USD to gain further against the JPY. However, the resistance has to be cleared first and this probably means that the price has to consolidate a bit and retrace to support areas before the 4h trend higher can continue. Look for buy opportunities if the support 108.40 is touched. A return move there and we should be looking for signs of momentum reversal to go long. Sell high and buy low as the saying goes. Look to sell against a resistance and buy against a support.
Disclaimer: Nothing in this communication contains, or should be considered as containing, an investment advice or an investment recommendation or a solicitation for the purpose of purchase or sale of any financial instrument.
Chief Market Analyst