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By Kenny Fisher

The US dollar continues to move higher in Thursday trading, as USD/JPY trades in the mid-102 range. The dollar has now gained over 100 points this week. On Wednesday, ADP Non-Farm Payrolls was way off the estimate for a second straight month, as US employment numbers continue to struggle. Today's highlight is Unemployment Claims, as the markets anticipate a stronger reading than last week. There are no Japanese releases on Thursday.

Nervous markets remain glued to the Ukraine, as Russia has effectively taken over Crimea following the ousting of the Ukrainian president, who has fled to Russia. The US and Russia continue to talk tough as the standoff between Russia and the Ukraine continue. Until this tense situation subsides, traders should be prepared for volatility in the currency markets.

Over in the US, it could be the start of another nasty streak of soft releases. ADP Non-Farm Employment Change posted another sharp drop in February, coming in at 139 thousand, down from 175 thousand a month earlier. The weak reading was well off the estimate of 159 thousand. With Unemployment Claims and the official Nonfarm Payrolls still to come, the dollar could take a hit if these releases fail to meet expectations. Meanwhile, the news was not much better from the services sector, as ISM Non-Manufacturing PMI dropped to 51.6 points, down sharply from 54.0 a month ago. This was well below the estimate of 53.8, and the index's lowest level since August 2010.

USD/JPY for Thursday, March 6, 2014

Forex Rate Graph 21/1/13

USD/JPY March 6 at 12:50 GMT

USD/JPY 102.71 H: 102.81 L: 102.33

USD/JPY Technical

S3S2S1R1R2R3
100.00101.19102.53103.30104.17105.70
  • 10.3.30 is providing resistance. This is followed by 104.17, which has remained intact since late January.
  • 102.53 has reverted to a support role as the dollar pushes higher. This is a weak line which could see further action during the day. There is stronger support at 101.19.
  • Current range: 102.53 to 103.30

Further levels in both directions:

  • Below: 102.53, 101.19, 100.00, 99.57 and 98.65
  • Above: 103.30, 104.17, 105.70, 106.85

OANDA's Open Positions Ratio

USD/JPY ratio is pointing to gains in short positions in Thursday trading, continuing the trend we have seen all week. This is not consistent with what we are seeing from the pair, as the dollar has posted modest gains. Short positions make up close to half of the open positions in the ratio, indicating a lack of trader bias as to what direction we'll see from USD/JPY.

The dollar is firm on Thursday, as USD/JPY is within striking distance of the 103 level.

USD/JPY Fundamentals

  • 00:00 US FOMC Member Richard Fisher Speaks.
  • 13:15 US FOMC Member William Dudley Speaks.
  • 13:30 US Unemployment Claims. Estimate 336K.
  • 13:30 US Revised Nonfarm Productivity. Estimate 2.6%.
  • 13:30 US Revised Unit Labor Costs. Estimate -1.0%.
  • 15:00 US Factory Orders. Estimate -0.4%.
  • 15:30 US Natural Gas Storage. Estimate -134B.
  • 18:00 US FOMC Member Charles Plosser Speaks.

*Key releases are highlighted in bold

*All release times are GMT

This article is for general information purposes only. It is not investment advice or a solution to buy or sell securities. Opinions are the authors; not necessarily that of OANDA Corporation or any of its affiliates, subsidiaries, officers or directors. Leveraged trading is high risk and not suitable for all. You could lose all of your deposited funds.

Source: USD/JPY - Dollar Keeps Rolling, Ahead Of Unemployment Claims