USDJPY has been moving sideways on its 4-hour time frame, finding support at the 118.50 minor psychological level and testing resistance at the 121.50 mark. Stochastic is indicating overbought conditions, which suggests that the top of the range might keep gains in check.

The moving averages are oscillating so the range-bound movement might carry on. If so, USDJPY could head back to the bottom of the range for another test of support. RSI is starting to point down also, which might also bring bearish momentum back.

The main event risk for this setup is the US non-farm payrolls release, which could have significant implications on the Fed’s potential interest rate hike decision. Analysts are expecting to see a 179K increase in hiring for October, stronger than the previous month’s 142K gain and enough to keep the jobless rate unchanged at 5.1%.

Earlier labor indicators are giving mixed signals, as the ISM manufacturing survey showed a decline in its employment component while the non-manufacturing survey recorded a strong rise. The ADP non-farm employment change report came in line with expectations with a 180K increase.

According to Fed head Janet Yellen, a December rate hike remains a “live possibility” depending on how upcoming data turns out. This suggests that all eyes and ears will be on the October NFP release, although the economy still has the November jobs report lined up before the December FOMC meeting.


As for the Japanese yen, the BOJ seems to be in no mood to change monetary policy soon, even as data from Japan have been mostly weaker than expected. This suggests that the yen could draw a lot of support in the event of an NFP disappointment.

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