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Forex: Shifting Winds and Potential Optimism for Speculators

The BoJ intervened in Forex and propelled two fast selloffs of the USD/JPY last week. The actions by the Bank of Japan did not come as a surprise as the central bank seeks to maintain a dovish interest rate policy, a relatively weak Japanese Yen - but also a philosophy of not letting the JPY to suffer too much. Speculators and financial institutions got caught up in the price action which ensued as a clash developed between large traders and the BoJ as equilibrium was sought.

The BoJ clearly wants to keep the USD/JPY within the weaker realms of its long-term values to spur on the Japanese export sector with solid business results. However, domestically the Japanese government doesn't want inflation within Japan to inflict too much pain for its citizens. BoJ interventions were carried out twice last week, once during a holiday in Japan, and the second when most global financial institutions were shuttered. At the time of this writing the USD/JPY is trading near the 153.720 mark.

Day traders always need to understand just how small they are within the larger speculative world. They need to judge economic intelligence and forecasts to get an understanding where behavioral sentiment could affect tides.

In the U.S, inflation and growth data caused investors to react nervously a week and a a half ago, additionally more anxious moments were fueled by the Federal Reserve's FOMC Statement this past Wednesday when the Fed said it was uncertain about the timetable that inflation would return to their stated goal of two percent. Forex trading has been volatile the entire calendar year of 2024 for speculators.

Nearly ten days ago while inflation continued to prove it was stubborn via the U.S GDP Price Index on the 25th of April, Advance GDP data was much weaker than expected showing that economic growth was slowing. And last Friday's Non-Farm Employment results were not only weaker regarding hiring, but also showed a slight drop in Average Hourly Earnings. This might have been enough to begin causing a shift in financial institution outlooks. This week of trading will prove interesting regarding risk appetite versus risk averse sentiment, particularly if large players believe economic data is finally catching up to the Fed's rhetoric.

U.S equity indices which started last week with selling and battled lower depths in the middle of the week, began to see buying develop on Thursday, and finished Friday's trading within their highs via weekly technical charts. While it is easy to report the past, it is the future speculators want to know. The ability of the U.S jobs numbers to produce results which were seen in a favorable light regarding the Fed's ability to potentially cut the Federal Funds Rate certainly was an optimistic sign for financial institutions. If inflation can remain under control it would help the global economic picture. On that note, WTI Crude Oil is trading below 80.00 USD and should be monitored.

Monday, 6th of May, European Union Final Services PMI - Italy, France and Germany among other will present Purchasing Managers Index data. The broad numbers are mostly expected to replicate the previous month's outcomes. Traders should note the U.K is observing a banking holiday today, which means lighter than normal Forex volumes will be seen.

Tuesday, 7th of May, Reserve Bank of Australia Monetary Policy Statement - the central bank is not expected to change its interest rate. The AUD/USD has provided some upwards momentum the past week. The RBA is not expected to step out of line regarding global central bank policies. Expect talk about an optimistically cautious outlook by the RBA as they preach patience regarding an interest rate cut.

Wednesday, 8th of May, Bond Sales from Japan, the U.K and the U.S - while many European nations observe a holiday, Japan, Great Britain and the U.S will sell government debt. U.S Treasury yields should be watched and equity indices should have an eye kept on them. If behavioral sentiment remains optimistic as this day comes to a close it could set the table for more bullishness, particularly if the USD remains relatively tame or weaker.

Thursday, 9th of May, Bank of England Monetary Policy Summary - the BoE is likely to mirror other central banks and keep its interest rate policy in place. No changes are expected to the Official Bank Rate. However, it would not be surprising to hear the BoE try to pose upbeat expectations, and if this occurs perhaps the GBP/USD will continue to find some momentum upwards.

Thursday, 9th of May, U.S Weekly Unemployment Claims - investors will keep their eyes on the jobs report. If the numbers come in around expectations this would allow risk appetite to remain strong in the near-term.

Friday, 10th of May, U.K Gross Domestic Product - an expected gain of 0.1% is forecast. GBP/USD traders who have bullish sentiment will be looking for the number to match expectations or beat the anticipated result. If the number is weaker, this could cause a reversal lower in the GBP/USD and an attempt to push back against gains made in the currency pair recently.

Friday, 10th of May, U.S Consumer Sentiment and Inflation Expectations via the University of Michigan - these readings will be watched by investors to see if consumers continue to show decreasing confidence in the U.S economy. While it sounds counter intuitive to want eroding sentiment regarding the ability to spend money, this would create more ammunition for the Federal Reserve to consider an interest rate cut. The Inflation Expectations could be the catalyst for traders going into the weekend regarding the USD.


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