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Forex Flash: Dollar maintains momentum after payrolls - BTMU

Derek Halpenny, European Head of Global Markets Research at the Bank of Tokyo Mitsubishi UFJ notes that the USD/JPY rate remains well supported above the 96.00 level after further strong gains on Friday after the better than expected employment report from the US.

He feels that it is clear that the US numbers continue to highlight the fact that relative to other economies, the US is showing the best signs of accelerated economic growth. In contrast, Halpenny looks towards Japan whose recent numbers show that machinery orders plunged in January by a huge 13.1% from the previous month. That resulted in the annual rate dropping to 9.7%, just above the 9.9% drop recorded in June of last year, which was the worst fall since 2009. He writes, “The 13.1% drop should though be taken in the context of three strong readings in the previous months and hence the 3-mth percentage change was still positive at 1.5% in January, albeit down from 2.0% in December.

However, apart from this economic data release the only other highlight from Japan during the Asian trading session was the Haruhiko Kuroda’s nomination hearing for Governor in the Upper House of the Diet. Halpenny writes, “There has been nothing dramatic from Kuroda relative to what has already been said in his previous hearing in the Lower House and he once again made clear of his determination to use monetary policy more aggressively to tackle Japan’s deflation. He did acknowledge that fifteen years of deflation was not only down to the failings of the BOJ but was very clear that more should have been done. On the yen he implied that the move we have had in recent months was sustainable given that the yen was correcting from over-valued levels. But Kuroda correctly added that the yen would not weaken forever on BOJ easing expectations implying that action followed by evidence of success would also be required to keep the momentum going.”

Halpenny finishes by commenting that the employment report and hope ahead of the BoJ meeting on 4th April should be enough to keep USD/JPY well supported for now and risk appetite during the Asian session was somewhat curtailed after the release of higher than expected inflation data and weaker than expected industrial production and retail sales numbers from China.

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