The Japanese yen is showing limited movement on Monday. In the European session, USD/JPY is trading at 150.34, up 0.13%.

Tokyo core CPI expected to rise to 2.5%

Japan releases Tokyo Core CPI, considered the most important inflation indicator, on Tuesday. The index fell to 1.6% y/y in January, below expectations and the lowest rate since May 2022, but the market estimate for February stands at 2.5%.

Inflation remains a key factor for the Bank of Japan as it mulls exiting its ultra-loose monetary policy. According to a report on the weekend, the government is considering announcing an official end to deflation. This would be a symbolic move but would likely be viewed by the markets as another signal that Tokyo is planning to remove negative interest rates in the next several months. After years of an ultra-accommodative policy, such a move would mark a sea-change for the Bank of Japan and would likely give a strong boost to the ailing Japanese currency.

On Thursday, Bank of Japan board member Hajime Takata said that the BoJ must overhaul is ultra-loose monetary policy, including an end to negative rates and removing bond yield control. Takata added that the BoJ was “seeing prospects of achieving our 2% inflation target”.

The initial results of Japan’s annual wage negotiations will be released on March 15th, followed by the BoJ meeting on March 19. The wage talks are expected to result in workers receiving higher wages, which will likely result in higher inflation. The BoJ isn’t expected to make any policy changes at the March meeting, with April or June the likely dates for a major announcement.

USD/JPY technical

  • There is resistance at 150.90 at 151.69.

  • 150.05 and 149.26 are providing support.

Chart

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