The new week was stained with the continued aftermath of Friday’s poor employment data out of the US, keeping the dollar on the defensive in a light trade day. Friday’s Non-Farm employment data disappointed with a loss of 131,000 jobs as opposed to the forecast of 63,000 jobs lost, sending the dollar into a tailspin lower. That tailspin put the USD/JPY within striking distance of Novembers fifteen year lows of 84.84, and fueled talk of the possibility of Bank of Japan intervention if the yen continues to strengthen. With talk swirling that the US Federal Reserve could look to ease monetary policy as early as Tuesday’s scheduled FOMC statement, the FX markets could be quiet leading up to that event.
The week saw the dollar lower right from the open in the majors, with the movement minimal in the hours that followed. EUR/USD opened about 10 pips higher and remained contained in a range between 1.3275 and 1.3295. Moves remained similarly subtle across the rest of the major pairs. A poor showing in Australian home loans, -3.9% versus -2.1%, had little effect on the currency which remained cornered between 0.9195 and 0.9165.
As mentioned earlier, the USD/JPY was placed under the most scrutiny today, with an open lower near 85.37; the pair saw little action as it traded between 85.30 and 85.45 for the day. Yen crosses remained steady on the day. The fear out of Japan is that if the Federal Reserve does in fact signal a change of policy, it would ignite a move in the yen that could set it to record highs. While the USD/JPY came close to the 85.00 level on Friday, it was unable to break through the solid support, which could be easily breeched if the Fed hints that further tightening is possible.