USD/JPY remains confined in a range near mid-128.00s, eyes US NFP for some impetus

  • USD/JPY oscillates in a narrow range and is influenced by a combination of diverging forces.
  • A modest USD uptick lends support, though weaker US bond yields cap gains ahead of NFP.
  • Expectations for a hawkish shift by the BoJ underpin the JPY and further act as a headwind.

The USD/JPY pair struggles to capitalize on the previous day's modest bounce from the vicinity of the 128.00 mark, or a two-week low and oscillates in a narrow range on Friday. Spot prices seesaw between tepid gains/minor losses and hold steady above mid-128.00s through the early European session.

The US Dollar edges higher on the last day of the week and looks to build on its recovery from a nine-month low touched on Thursday, which, in turn, is seen acting as a tailwind for the USD/JPY pair. The USD uptick could be attributed to some repositioning trade ahead of the closely-watched US monthly jobs report, due for release later during the early North American session.

The US Weekly Initial Jobless Claims data released on Thursday pointed to the underlying strength in the labor market and boosted expectations for strong Nonfarm Payrolls (NFP). This, in turn, forced investors to re-evaluate their expectations for future rate hikes by the Fed and lend some support to the USD. That said, weaker US Treasury bond yields cap gains for the buck.

The Japanese Yen, on the other hand, continues to draw support from expectations that high inflation may invite a more hawkish stance from the Bank of Japan (BoJ) later this year. The bets were lifted by Japan's Nationwide core inflation, which reached its highest annualized print since December 1981. This is seen as another factor keeping a lid on the USD/JPY pair, at least for now.

Bullish traders also seem reluctant to place fresh bets in the wake of the overnight breakdown below a symmetrical triangle and ahead of the key US macro data.

The overall trend remains down, with the USD/JPY respecting a multi-month falling trend channel after the last failure to breakout higher at 130.00. This suggests more downside to come as traders stick with the trend and as such, the USD/JPY pair seems poised to register further losses. The January 16 lows at 127.20 will be key in determining whether bears are fully back in the driving seat, with a decisive break and close below them registering a new lower low and proividing the impetus for more losses. The 126.35 legacy lower high of May 2022 comes in as the next target and support shelf below there. 

Technical levels to watch


Today last price 128.58
Today Daily Change -0.17
Today Daily Change % -0.13
Today daily open 128.75
Daily SMA20 129.91
Daily SMA50 132.97
Daily SMA100 138.9
Daily SMA200 136.78
Previous Daily High 129.13
Previous Daily Low 128.08
Previous Weekly High 131.12
Previous Weekly Low 129.02
Previous Monthly High 134.78
Previous Monthly Low 127.22
Daily Fibonacci 38.2% 128.49
Daily Fibonacci 61.8% 128.73
Daily Pivot Point S1 128.18
Daily Pivot Point S2 127.61
Daily Pivot Point S3 127.13
Daily Pivot Point R1 129.23
Daily Pivot Point R2 129.71
Daily Pivot Point R3 130.28



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