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The USD/JPY (or US Dollar Japanese Yen) currency pair belongs to the group of 'Majors', a way to mention the most important pairs in the world. This group also includes the following currency pairs: EUR/USD, GBP/USD, AUD/USD, USD/CHF, NZD/USD and USD/CAD. Japanese Yen has a low interest rate and is normally used in carry trades. This is the reason why is one of the most trades currencies worldwide. In the USD/JPY the US Dollar is the base currency and the Japanese Yen is the counter currency. The pair represents American (from United States of America) and Japanese economies.
Trading the USD/JPY currency pair is also known as trading the "ninja" or the "gopher", although this last name is more frequently used when reffered to the GBP/JPY currency pair. The US Dollar Japanese Yen usually has a positive correlation with the following two pairs: USD/CHF and USD/CAD. The nature of this correlation is dued to the fact that both currency pairs also use the US Dollar as the base currency, such as USD/JPY. The value of the pair tends to be affected when the two main central banks of each country, the Bank of Japan (BoJ) and the Federal Reserve Bank (Fed), face serious interest rate differential.
Most influential institutions for the USD/JPY
The US Dollar Japanese Yen can be seriously affected by the decisions taken by two main central banks:
The Federal Reserve Bank (Fed)
The Federal Reserve System (Fed) is the central banking system of the United States. Fed has two main targets: to keep unemployment rate to their lowest possible levels and inflation around 2%. The Federal Reserve System's structure is composed of the presidentially appointed Board of Governors, partially presidentially appointed Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC). The FOMC organises 8 meetings in a year and reviews economic and financial conditions. Also determines the appropriate stance of monetary policy and assesses the risks to its long-run goals of price stability and sustainable economic growth.
The Bank of Japan (BOJ)
The Bank of Japan is the central bank of Japan and it's a juridical person established based on the Bank of Japan Act, nor being a government agency either a private corporation. The most important missions of the BOJ are the following: to issue and manage banknotes, to implement monetary policy and to ensure stability of the financial system. Almost all of the decisions are taken by the Policy Board, formed by a bunch of members working to provide currency and monetary control and setting the next moves that the central bank will take.
Most influential people for the USD/JPY
Considering that the ECB and the Fed are the most influential institutions for the Euro US Dollar, it makes sense that its presidents, Mario Draghi and Janet Yellen respectively, are the authorities with bigger effect on the currency pair. Their speeches, statements and wording are closely watched to see any signal of next potential move in the pair.
Janet L. Yellen (born August 13, 1946) took office as Chair of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (Fed) on February 3, 2014, for a four-year term ending February 3, 2018. She had already previously served as a Vice Chair from 2010 to 2014. This American economist also serves as Chairman of the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC), the System's principal monetary policymaking body. Her declarations are also an important source of volatility, especially for the US Dollar and the currencies traded against it.
Haruhiko Kuroda was nominated, by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, as Governor of the Bank of Japan in March 2013. He had previously worked as President of the Asian Development Bank for 8 years. As the head of the BOJ, he has a major influence over the Japanese Yen. His words are usually followed by traders in order to find any clue of next possible trend in the currency.
The EUR/USD (or Euro Dollar) currency pair is one of the 'Majors', or most important pairs in the world. This group also includes GBP/USD, USD/JPY, AUD/USD, USD/CHF, NZD/USD and USD/CAD. The Euro Dollar gathers two main economies: the European and American (from United States of America) ones. This is a widely traded currency pair where the Euro is the base currency and the US Dollar is the counter currency. Since this pair consists of more than half of all the trading volume worldwide in the Forex Market, it is almost impossible for a gap to appear.
Normally, the EUR/USD is very quiet during the Asian session because economic data that affects the fundamentals of those currencies is released in either the European or U.S. session. Once traders in Europe get to their desks a flurry of activity hits the tape as they start filling customer orders and jockey for positions. At noon activity slows down as traders step out for lunch and then picks back up again as the U.S. comes online.
The GBP/USD (or Pound Dollar) currency pair belongs to the group of 'Majors', a way to mention the most important pairs worldwide. This group also includes the following currency pairs: EUR/USD, USD/JPY, AUD/USD, USD/CHF, NZD/USD and USD/CAD. The pair is also called 'The Cable', reffering to the first Transatlantic communication cable that was crossing the Atlantic Ocean in order to connect Great Britain with the United States of America. This term originated in the mid-19th century, which makes GBP/USD one of the oldest currency pairs in the world.
The popularity of the Pound Dollar is due to the fact that represents two strong economies: British and American (from United States of America). The Cable is a widely observed and traded currency pair where the Pound is the base currency and the US Dollar is the counter currency. After the result of the Brexit referendum, GBP/USD has been suffering some turbulence due to risk related with the abandonment process from the European Union.