BoJ Discusses Reversal Rate as The Quest Continues Towards the Elusive 2%

Fundamental Forecast for JPY: Bearish

  • Dovish FOMC Rate Hike to Rattle USD/JPY Rate Recovery.
  • Japanese Yen Technical Analysis: Where are the USD/JPY Bulls?
  • Next week brings the final Bank of Japan rate decision for 2017. It’s been a rather quiet year for the BoJ, all factors considered; and quite the respite from the past few years when their very own policies were very much in the spotlight. Last year saw the stealth move to negative rates in January, catching many by surprise and leading to a troubling five-month period that saw USD/JPY drop all the way from above 121.50 to below 100.00. The oncoming ‘reflation trade’ that started around the U.S. Presidential Election in November pushed prices back towards that 120.00 level, falling just short as a double-top was set at 118.67 in December/January. After a pullback in the first quarter of the year, USD/JPY sank into a range that’s lasted ever since, now going on for seven full months.

    USD/JPY Has Spent the Bulk of 2017 in a Range-Bound Fashion

    BoJ Discusses Reversal Rate as The Quest Continues Towards the Elusive 2%

    Chart prepared by James Stanley

    The big item of pertinence circling around the Bank of Japan, and likely to be on full display next week is the bank’s outlook towards stimulus. The stimulus program that came into markets around the election of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has continued to drive into Japanese markets going on five years now. And while inflation initially showed a promising response, eclipsing the BoJ’s 2% target temporarily in 2014; those hopes have fizzled in the years since as the Japanese economy has moved back towards the deflationary cycle that defined the economy for much of the past thirty years.

    For the past year, inflation has remained between .2 and .7% in Japan, and this is with an outsized stimulus program in effect. After four consecutive months at .4% this summer, a quick visit to .7% in August and September led into a drop back-down to .2% in October. So, it would appear that we remain very, very far away from attaining the BoJ’s goal, with little hope in the immediate sights.

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