The downside in the Japanese yen could be limited against the US dollar as it approaches strong support ahead of the changes at the helm of the Bank of Japan.
The nomination of former BOJ policy board member Kazuo Ueda as the central bank governor has cooled speculation of an earlier normalization of interest rates. In the past, Ueda has warned of the dangers of early interest rate hikes, putting to rest any concerns about higher policy rates in the foreseeable future.
However, a reassessment of the yield curve control policy can’t be ruled out, given that he has highlighted its potential flaws. Given accelerating inflation, the perception that Ueda could tweak YCC could cap USD/JPY’s rise at the very least.
USD/JPY, up over 5% from a seven-month low hit in January, is running into a tough converged hurdle at 134.00-137.00, including the 89-day moving average, the 200-day moving average, around the early-January high.
The 14-day Relative Strength Index (RSI) is near a crucial ceiling of 60 from where the previous retreat in December took place. While the price action is still unfolding and the RSI could go higher, corrective rallies generally tend to stall around RSI levels of 55-60.
This is further reinforced by developments on the technical charts of the US Treasury 10-year yield, which is now testing a similar stiff barrier, including the December high of 3.90%, roughly coinciding with the upper edge of the Ichimoku cloud.
The difference is that the yield hasn’t broken a meaningful price pivot compared with USD/JPY, suggesting that BOJ policy could be starting to be a stronger driver than US Treasury yields for now.
There are no signs of reversal of the nascent uptrend. The upward momentum on intraday charts continues to be strong (see 4-hourly chart). The immediate upward pressure is unlikely to ease. At the same time, the pair holds above the initial cushion at the February 6 high of 132.90, roughly around the lower edge of a rising channel from early February.