Analysing the Yen Exchange Rate in 2024
The Japanese yen has emerged as the worst-performing major currency today in the fast-paced world of currency trading. This development is unexpected, especially given the general risk-off sentiment in the market. The yen has even lagged behind the struggling Australian dollar. This article examines the factors contributing to the yen’s underperformance and explores the dynamics traders should be aware of in the coming days.
Yen to Dollar and Euro: A Lackluster Performance
While other currencies benefit from stronger economic data and less dovish central bank comments, the yen stands out due to its lack of country-specific news. This absence of positive developments has led traders to recognise the opportunity cost of holding a currency with zero current yields. The outlook for interest rate increases by the Bank of Japan (BOJ) in the first half of the year has been negatively affected by the New Year’s Day earthquakes, prompting a reevaluation of expectations.
Traders are now contending with the BOJ’s assertion that imminent rate hikes are unlikely. This stance emphasises the need for additional stimulus as Japan rebuilds post-disaster. The lack of Japan-specific economic data until the BOJ meeting on January 23 has shifted the focus to Intermarket and technical analysis as the primary drivers for yen crosses in the near term.
Yen Conversion and the Impact of Earthquakes
The aftermath of the New Year’s Day earthquakes has significantly altered the landscape for the yen. Expectations for BOJ interest rate increases have diminished, contributing to the yen’s lacklustre performance. As traders grapple with the potential need for more stimulus in the Japanese economy, the yen’s status as a currency with zero current yields becomes a significant concern. Investors and currency enthusiasts are closely monitoring any signs of recovery or shifts in sentiment that could influence yen conversion rates.
USD/JPY and EUR/JPY: A Tale of Recoveries and Challenges
Focusing on specific currency pairs, USD/JPY has been particularly challenging for the Japanese yen in 2024. The pair has seen limited declines, gaining over 700 pips (5%+) since the close on New Year’s Eve. Although USD/JPY has recovered most of its November-December selloff, it faces a potential hurdle at the 78.6% Fibonacci retracement of the pullback at 149.40 before it can retest its 33-year high at 152.00.
EUR/JPY mirrors the resilience seen in USD/JPY, rallying consistently since the start of the year. Breaking out of a sideways consolidation pattern, EUR/JPY found support at 158.60 and continues its upward trajectory. Investors tracking yen-to-euro dynamics should be aware of potential resistance at 162.00 (the 78.6% Fibonacci retracement) and 164.25 (the 15-year high).
Navigating Yen’s Path Ahead
As the yen grapples with the aftermath of the New Year’s Day earthquakes and the shifting landscape of BOJ expectations, traders must navigate an evolving market. The lack of imminent rate hikes and the absence of Japan-specific economic data emphasises the significance of Intermarket and technical analysis. For those involved in yen-to-dollar or yen-to-euro transactions, a keen understanding of these dynamics is vital. The yen exchange rate stands at a crossroads, presenting both challenges and opportunities for traders in the coming days.