Japanese Yen Flat-to Higher After Economic Data

The Japanese yen was trading flat against some of its major rivals today but managed to gain on others. Hopes of a lift of the lockdown measures in various countries across the world and underwhelming domestic macroeconomic data were weighing on Japan’s currency but fears of a global economic recession that is going to follow the coronavirus pandemic and falling crude oil prices were boosting the yen.
The Statistics Bureau of Japan reported that the unemployment rate was 2.5% in March, matching the analysts’ median forecast. That was an increase from 2.4% in the previous month. According to a report from the Bank of Japan, the core Consumer Price Index rose 0.1% in March, year-on-year. Specialists were expecting the same 0.2% rate of growth as in the previous month.
Investors remain cautious, preferring to stick to safer assets for the most part. While plans to ease lockdown give hope that the global economy will start recovering after the shock caused by the pandemic, its consequences will be felt for a while. One of the most obvious indications of the problem is the plunging prices for crude oil — a commodity tied to economic growth. Granted, the reason for the plunge is the lack of room to store oil but that issue is in large part a result of lack of demand due to slowing economic activity across the world. Currently, prices for North American crude has tumbled by about 13%, nearing the psychologically important level of $10.
USD/JPY dropped from 107.18 to 106.73 as of 9:57 GMT today. EUR/JPY was little changed at 116.10. CHF/JPY fell from 109.92 to 109.67, touching the low of 109.37 intraday — the lowest level since November 29. CAD/JPY rose from 76.36 to 76.48, rebounding from the day’s low of 76.16.

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