A swift turn in broad risk sentiment towards negative on Thursday wasn’t enough to help the Japanese yen overcome the early week positive vibes and net losses against the other major currencies.
Japanese Headlines and Economic data
Weak start to the new week for the Japanese yen, likely on a combination of the Japanese headlines above and positive global risk sentiment. Traders were starting the week on good vibes, likely on a mix of stories including a change of heart on face masks by U.S. President Trump, optimism of a EU Recovery fund deal, and another positive COVID-19 vaccine update, this time from the joint project between Oxford and AstraZeneca.
More global risk-on vibes on the session to likely put pressure on the safe haven yen, this time after the EU finally gets a deal done on the recovery fund, positive expectations of another round of U.S. stimulus soon.
The better-than expected Japanese PMI data and coronavirus treatment wasn’t enough to lift the yen on the session, as Tuesday’s positive risk sentiment was the likely driver for the yen’s continued move lower. The risk-on party did slow down a bit during the U.S. session as traders began to focus on rising tensions between U.S. and China (U.S. charges two Chinese nationals in coronavirus vaccine hacking scheme, U.S. gives China 72 hours to shut Houston consulate)
Big turn in risk sentiment towards negative during the Thursday U.S. trading session, this time on signs of a weakening rebound of the U.S. jobs sector. U.S.-China tensions seemed to have been on the rise during the session, along with rising COVID-19 worries and U.S. big tech sector weakness to help the yen make gains into the end of the session.
The rally continued for the yen on Friday, and with the Japanese markets closed for the Health Sports Day holiday, it’s likely the strength was a continuation of Thursday’s price action and broad risk aversion sentiment. U.S.-China tensions were once again a focus, this time after China ordered the closure of a U.S. consulate in Chengdu and US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo urged China’s citizens to help ‘change the behaviour’ of their government.