USDJPY has been forming lower highs and testing support at the 120.50 minor psychological level, creating a descending triangle pattern visible on the short-term time frames. Price is on its way up to test the resistance again and might make an attempt at breaking out.
The moving averages are crossing back and forth, indicating that the consolidation pattern might hold up. Stochastic is pointing up, suggesting that an upside breakout is possible, potentially taking USDJPY up by at least a hundred pips, while RSI is on the move higher as well.
On the other hand, a downside break below the 120.50 level could spur a 100-pip drop or an even stronger selloff until the next visible floor at the 118.50 level.
Event risks for this trade setup include the NFP release on Friday, although the leading jobs indicators could provide an indication of how the actual jobs data might turn out. The ISM manufacturing PMI released yesterday indicated a contraction in the employment component, suggesting a possible downside surprise.
Analysts are expecting to see a 179K increase in hiring for October, stronger than the previous 142K gain and enough to keep the unemployment rate steady at 5.1%. Average hourly earnings could show a 0.2% uptick after staying flat in the previous month, reflecting a stronger pace of wage growth and potential upside pressure on overall price levels.
As for Japan, economic data has been mostly disappointing but the BOJ hasn’t wavered from its policy stance instead of sounding more dovish. Consumer spending reports have been weaker than expected but inflation readings have been closely in line with consensus. With that, the path of least resistance is to the upside, as an upbeat NFP reading could support Fed rate hike expectations for December.