Japanese Yen Analysis: USD/JPY, EUR/JPY, and GBP/JPY All Test YTD Highs

Matt Weller
By :  ,  Head of Market Research

Japanese Yen Takeaways

  • The market has decided the BOJ’s action two weeks ago was not decisive enough, and the Japanese yen continues to fall across the board.
  • USD/JPY appears to be in the midst of a clean breakout to new 2023 highs above 145.00.
  • EUR/JPY and GBP/JPY are ticking lower today but remain in longer-term uptrends that could see them hit fresh multi-year highs later this week.

Japanese Yen Fundamental Analysis

Just over two weeks ago, the Bank of Japan tried to “have its cake and eat it too” by allowing more flexibility in how high it will let interest rates on 10-year JGBs go…while still targeting the same 0.5% level.

Markets were initially confused by the mealy-mouthed policy “decision,” but traders eventually decided that the BOJ’s action lacks conviction and the yen has resumed falling across the board as interest rates in the island nation remain far lower than just about anywhere else, making the yen relatively less attractive compared to other major currencies.

At this point, the market wants to see concrete tightening action from the BOJ, and with no scheduled meetings for the next five weeks, the yen may remain on the back foot as traders continue to question BOJ Governor Ueda and company’s credibility.

Japanese Yen Technical Analysis – USD/JPY Daily Chart


Source: TradingView, StoneX

As the chart above shows, USD/JPY is hitting a fresh 2023 high today after breaking cleanly above the June highs near 145.00. Astute readers will remember that the BOJ first intervened in the market to try to strengthen the yen around 145.00 last year, before ultimately retreating and re-intervening closer to the 150 level in October. From a purely technical perspective, the current bullish breakout opens the door for a continuation toward the 78.6% Fibonacci retracement at 146.60, followed by last year’s highs near 150, though the BOJ may once again step in to try to stem the bleeding before that level is reached.

Japanese Yen Technical Analysis – EUR/JPY Daily Chart


Source: TradingView, StoneX

Looking at the EUR/JPY chart, rates hit a fresh 15-year high above 159.00 last week, though they’re now pulling back toward the breakout area near 158.00. For this week, that previous resistance level may provide support under prices, and with the 14-day RSI far from overbought territory, there’s plenty of potential for EUR/JPY to resume its longer-term uptrend and make a run at the 160.00 if risk appetite remains elevated.

Japanese Yen Technical Analysis – GBP/JPY Daily Chart


Source: TradingView, StoneX

Finally, GBP/JPY peeked out to an 8-year high of its own to start this week, though rates are now consolidating just below the key 184.00 level as we go to press. As with USD/JPY, a clean breakout above resistance this week would open the door for a bullish continuation, with little in the way of previous resistance until above 188.00. Even a short-term pullback would likely be bought up quickly given the fundamental tailwind for the pair and well-established uptrend.

“The trend is your friend (until it ends)” as the trading saying goes, and the market is likely to keep pushing the yen lower in the coming days and weeks until the BOJ takes decisive action to stem the bleeding.

-- Written by Matt Weller, Global Head of Research

Follow Matt on Twitter: @MWellerFX

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