EUR/USD is trading below 1.21, consolidating Friday's losses as the market mood is mixed. Upbeat Chinese GDP and US stimulus are cheering markets while Italy's political crisis and the depressing coronavirus picture is weighing on sentiment.
GBP/USD remains below 1.36, shrugging off the expansion of Britain's vaccination campaign. Post-Brexit talks on financial services continue while tension is mounting ahead of US President-elect Biden's inauguration.
Markets are mixed on "Blue Monday" with the dollar clinging to gains related to risk aversion, while upbeat Chinese growth partially offsets the gloom.Tension is mounting ahead of President-elect Biden's inauguration.
USD/JPY is the abbreviation for the U.S. dollar and Japanese yen cross. Trading this currency pair is known as the "gopher". The USD/JPY tends to have a positive correlation with the USD/CHF and USD/CAD, they all use the U.S. dollar as the base currency.
The Yen is sensitive to factors related to Asian stock exchanges and due to the interest rate differential with other major currencies, it is also sensitive to any change affecting the so-called "Carry Trade".
HISTORICAL HIGHS AND LOWS
Fixed Rate: (from 1944 to 1971) After World War II, the Yen lost its value. To stabilize, the exchange rate of it was fixed at ¥360 per $1 as part of the Bretton Woods system that set an obligation for each country to adopt a monetary policy that maintained the exchange rate by tying its currency to gold.
Free Float Rate: When the Bretton Woods system ended in 1971, the USA terminated convertibility of the US dollar to gold. The JPY became undervalued and was allowed to float. Since then, the pair reached its highest price in January 1973 at 301.15¥/USD and its minimum in October 2011 at 72¥/USD.
USD/JPY FORECAST 2021
In her "USD/JPY Forecast 2021" published at the end of 2020, Valeria Bednarik states that Japan’s cultural advantage over the US might result in a faster economic comeback from the coronavirus crisis and remarks that central banks’ ultra-loose monetary policy has come to stay.
The USD/JPY pair can also be impacted by other currencies, in particular the Euro (for being a prominent commercial partner) and the Chinese Yuan Renminbi (for being the other main Asian currency).This group also includes EUR/USD,GBP/USD, AUD/USD, USD/CHF, NZD/USD, USD/CAD, GBP/JPY and EUR/JPY
About the Fed: The Federal Reserve System is the central banking system of the United States of America. It was created on December 23, 1913, with the enactment of the Federal Reserve Act, after a series of financial panics led to the desire for central control of the monetary system in order to alleviate financial crises.
About the BoJ: The Bank of Japan is the central bank of Japan. The bank is often called Nichigin for short. The Bank's objectives are to issue banknotes and to carry out currency and monetary control and to ensure smooth settlement of funds among banks and other financial institutions, thereby contributing to the maintenance of the stability of the financial system.
The interest rate differential between the Fed and the BoJ will affect the value of these currencies when compared to each other. For example, when the Fed intervenes in open market activities to make the USD stronger, the value of the USD/JPY cross could increase, due to a strengthening of the U.S. dollar when compared to the Japanese yen.
In Japan, deflation has been a persistent threat for many years, and the BOJ has pursued a policy of very low rates in the hopes of stimulating demand and economic growth; at various points in the 2000s, real rates in Japan were actually slightly negative.
The US Government is as well an institution of great importance for this pair: events as administration statements, new laws and regulations or fiscal policy can increase or decrease the value of the US Dollar and the currencies traded against it. The same happens of course for the Japanese Government, in particular, all the speeches of the Primer Minister and its so-called “Abenomics” economic policies which are based upon "three arrows" of fiscal stimulus, monetary easing and structural reforms.