Japanese Yen Soft amid Risk Appetite, Manages to Hold Ground Against Some Rivals

The Japanese yen was relatively soft today due to the positive market sentiment limiting demand for the currency in its role as a safe haven. Nevertheless, the yen managed to hold ground against a range of its major rivals, even gaining on some of them.
The pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca announced on Saturday that it resumes trials of its coronavirus vaccine. The company had to halt tests last week after one of the test subjects demonstrated symptoms of an unexplained illness, resulting in risk aversion on markets. But the positive news over the weekend allowed to start this week’s trading on a good footing. On top of that, the company’s competitor Pfizer announced that it is expanding its trials.
Market analysts warned, though, that traders will likely be cautious this week ahead of several high profile events. Three major central banks will make monetary policy announcement this week: the Federal Reserve, the Bank of England, and the Bank of Japan. While experts do not expect any of them to announce significant changes to the existing policies, comments from the central banks’ officials still can rile markets, making it risky to trade before the events.
As for Japan’s macroeconomic reports, the Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry released a couple of reports today. The tertiary industry activity index dropped by 0.5% in July on a seasonally adjusted basis. It was a big surprise to specialists who were expecting an increase of 0.6%. On a positive side, the previous month’s increase got a positive revision from 7.9% to 9.0%. Meanwhile, industrial production climbed by 8.7% in July on a seasonally adjusted basis, sharply accelerating compared with the previous month’s 1.9% rate of increase. Analysts had predicted a slower growth of 8.0%.
USD/JPY slipped from 106.10 to 106.02 as of 9:58 GMT today. EUR/JPY opened at 125.53, below Friday’s close of 125.74, but managed to rise to 125.68 later. GBP/JPY also opened below Friday’s close, starting Monday’s trading at 1.2781 after ending last week at 1.2797, but has jumped to 1.2844 by now.
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