GBP/JPY Flat-Lines above Mid-160.00s, Eyes Nearly Two-Week High Touched On Monday

The GBP/JPY cross attracts some dip-buying in the vicinity of the 160.00 psychological mark and turns neutral during Tuesday’s first half of the European session. The cross is currently placed just above the mid-160.00s and remains within striking distance of a two-week high touched on Monday.

A combination of factors provides a modest lift to the British Pound, which, in turn, is seen acting as a tailwind for the GBP/JPY cross. The US Dollar extends the overnight pullback from a multi-week top, which underpins the Sterling and upbeat UK jobs data.

The UK Office for National Statistics reported that the number of people claiming unemployment-related benefits fell by 12.9K in January. Moreover, the previous month’s reading was also revised down sharply to -3.2K from the 19.7 rise estimated originally.

Additional details of the report revealed that Average Earnings, excluding bonuses, were up 6.7% during the three months to December. Excluding the pandemic period, this is the fastest rise since records began in 2001 and add pressure on the Bank of England (BoE) to deliver another interest-rate increase next month.

This, along with the overnight breakout through the 159.40-159.50 horizontal resistance, supports prospects for a further near-term appreciating move for the GBP/JPY cross. That said, the emergence of some buying around the Japanese Yen (JPY) caps the upside.

The markets now seem to speculate that the possible Bank of Japan (BoJ) governor candidate Kazuo Ueda will dismantle the yield curve control sooner rather than later. Apart from this, looming recession risks continue to weigh on investors’ sentiment and drive some haven flows toward the JPY. To a larger extent, this helps offset the data, which showed that the Japanese economy grew less than expected in the fourth quarter. Hence, it will be prudent to wait for a strong follow-through buying around the GBP/JPY cross before positioning for any further appreciating move.

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