EUR/JPY, or euro to Japanese yen, is a heavily traded currency pair. The Eurozone is the world's second largest economic region while Japan is the world's fourth-largest economy. As a safe haven currency, the yen tends to depreciate when global economic growth is high while sharply appreciating during downturns. The euro, on the other hand, tends to move in the opposite direction. Thus, the pair is often seen as a proxy for global sentiment. Prior to the French elections of 2017, investors went short EUR/JPY in order to hedge their long euro positions. Following the elections, the pair strengthened sharply as optimism returned to the Eurozone.
The euro is currently recovering against the US dollar, Japanese yen and Canadian dollar, while selling off against the Australian dollar. Yesterday, the euro sold off sharply against the US dollar. Notably, trading volumes in euro futures accelerated for the third session in a row. The combination of yesterday's weakness and rising volumes suggests that traders are selling the currency with conviction. Today's EUR/USD trading range is 1.1430 - 1.1860.
Following news that the European Commission called Italy's draft budget an "unprecedented" breach of Eurozone fiscal rules, the euro weakened sharply yesterday. According to a Reuters report, the Commission stated that Italian government spending was too high, the structural deficit was likely to rise and that Italian public debt would not fall in line with the EU's rules. ECB President Mario Draghi has also weighed in on Italy's fiscal budget, stating that undermining the rules carry a high price for all members of the monetary union. Looking at reactions in markets, 10-year Italian government bonds (BTPs) sold off sharply yesterday and continue to sell off today. 10-year BTPs are currently yielding 3.7% today. Note that bond prices move lower as bond yields rise. While today's BTP sell-off is having a more limited impact on the euro, the common currency is likely to remain under pressure as Eurozone growth continues to slow in rate-of-change terms.
Looking beyond bond markets, the latest developments from Italy are also tempering rate hike expectations. While investors expected the European Central Bank to raise rates by 10 basis points (0.10%) in September 2019, this is no longer the case today. While ECB speakers remain optimistic for future growth in the region, markets appear to be taking a different view. Our outlook on the euro remains bearish.
EUR/USD is up slightly and trading above 1.1460. The euro is up against the yen, with EUR/JPY trading above 128.80. Finally, the euro is flat against the pound, with EUR/GBP above 0.8790.
|October 15||Bundesbank Beermann Speech|
|October 15||ECB Nouy Speech|
|October 16||Germany Import Prices YoY AUG||4.8%||4.8%|
|October 16||Eurozone Balance of Trade AUG||€11.7B||€17.6B|
|October 16||Eurozone ZEW Economic Sentiment Index OCT||-19.4||-7.2|
|October 16||Germany ZEW Current Conditions OCT||70.1||76|
|October 16||Germany ZEW Economic Sentiment Index OCT||-24.7||-10.6|
|October 17||Eurozone Construction Output YoY AUG||2.5%||2.2%|
|October 17||Eurozone Core Inflation Rate YoY Final SEP||0.9%||0.9%|
|October 17||Eurozone Inflation Rate YoY Final SEP||2.1%||2%|
|October 17||Bundesbank Weidmann Speech|
|October 18||Germany Wholesale Prices YoY SEP||3.5%||3.8%|
|October 19||Eurozone Current Account AUG||€20.5B||€30B|
The Japanese yen is currently weakening against all major currencies. Yesterday, the yen moved up sharply against the US dollar. Notably, trading volumes in yen futures accelerated for the third session in a row, rising above 30-day averages. The combination of continued strength in the yen and accelerating volumes suggest that traders bought the yen with conviction. Today's USD/JPY trading range is 111.50 - 114.50.
As riskier assets such as equities and commodities rebound today, the yen appears to be weakening accordingly. Following a significant move higher in Chinese equity markets this morning, most US equity indices and commodities are strengthening. The S&P 500 is currently up by 0.5% while WTI (crude oil) prices are up by more than 1%. As as a safe haven currency, the yen tends to weaken in response to improving risk appetite.
Turning to domestic economic data, year-over-year September inflation figures decelerated relative to the previous month. While domestic inflation was rising in late 2017, cost pressures appear to be running out of steam this year. Between a mixed outlook for growth and inflation that remains directionless, the Bank of Japan is less likely to signal tighter monetary policy in the near future. All else held equal, the continuation of the status quo is neutral for the yen.
Lastly, Japanese Finance Minister Aso said that the US did not consider the country to be a currency manipulator. According to a Reuters story, Aso also stated that Japan-US trade talks are likely to begin in mid-January. While Trump's attempts to re-negotiate international trade arrangements have weighed on currencies such as the Mexican peso and the Canadian dollar in recent history, the Japanese yen has been unscathed so far. Our outlook on the yen remains neutral.
USD/JPY is currently trading above 112.40. EUR/JPY is up slightly, and trading above 129.10. GBP/JPY is up slightly, and trading above 146.50.
|October 15||Reuters Tankan Index OCT||28||26|
|October 15||Capacity Utilization MoM AUG||2.2%||-0.6%|
|October 15||Industrial Production YoY Final AUG||0.2%||2.2%|
|October 18||Balance of Trade SEP||¥140B||¥-438B|
|October 18||Exports YoY SEP||-1.2%||6.6%|
|October 18||Foreign Bond Investment 13/OCT||¥1016.9B||¥-200.3B|
|October 18||Stock Investment by Foreigners 13/OCT||¥52.6B||¥1577.4B|
|October 18||Imports YoY SEP||7%||15.3%|
|October 19||Core Inflation Rate YoY SEP||1%||0.9%|
|October 19||Inflation Rate Ex-Food and Energy YoY SEP||0.4%||0.4%|
|October 19||Inflation Rate YoY SEP||1.2%||1.3%|
|October 19||BoJ Gov Kuroda Speech|
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