BOJ Puts Rate Hikes On The Table After Historic Wage Agreement!

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  • Wage deals with Japan’s largest employers and unions have been agreed according to reports. Bloomberg confirms a 5% wage increase.
  • Bank of Japan may hike interest rates as early as next week. Other economists believe the hike will come in April. Analysts expect the Bank of Japan’s interest rate to rise to 0.00%.
  • Producer Inflation rates double that originally expected by analysts. Core Producer Inflation also continues to rise.
  • 31% of the NASDAQ’s stocks decline as investors price in fewer rate hikes in 2024.

GBPJPY – BOJ Set to Hike for the First Time Since 2007 After Higher Salaries Agreed!

The GBPJPY fell up to 0.28% during this morning’s Asian session as unions and employers gave consent for a 5% wage increase. This gives enough room for the Bank of Japan to consider a rate increase to move out of negative interest rates. However, the Yen has fallen since against the currency market as a whole. Nonetheless, the hike and wage increase could support the Yen in the medium to long term.

Analysts advise the Bank of Japan is likely to increase rates either at next week’s bank meeting or in April, but no later. However, economists are yet to confirm how high rates may go. Analysts advise the bank will most likely opt to hike on two occasions by 0.10%. This would bring the Cash Rate to 0.10%, the highest since 2010.

The possibility of rate hikes is deemed to be positive for the Japanese Yen as well as the higher possibility of sticky inflation globally. The Japanese Industry Activity also rose 0.3%, more than previous expectations, which supports the Yen. However, investors should be cautious of volatility and ensure their entry is appropriate based on technical analysis. The price over the past 48 hours is moving within a sideways range but is showing more downward volatility.

UA Zensen, Japan’s largest industrial and trade union representing more than 1.8 million workers, announced that companies have agreed to the largest wage increase since 2013. Thus, this year for full-time workers it may increase by 5.9%, and for part-time workers by 6.5%.

When monitoring each currency individually, we can see the Pound is seeing a “mixed” performance. The Pound during this morning’s Asian session and European Cash Open has depreciated against the Euro and the Pound. The Japanese Yen declined throughout the first 3 days of the week but rose on Thursday.

Even though the price of the Pound has considerably risen against the Yen over the past 90 minutes, the Yen could see different signals rise throughout the day. For example, if the price declines below 188.949, Fibonacci levels and price action will signal a decline. With such a decline, the price will also again fall below the 75-Bar EMA and “Neutral” level on the RSI.

USA100 – Global Stocks Rise on Friday

The USA100 rose 0.19% as the European markets opened as did other indices such as the DAX, French CAC and even the NIKKEI225. The positive price movement from global equities is positive as it may indicate a higher risk appetite and investor sentiment. In addition to this, US Bond Yields are also trading lower this morning which is known to potentially support stocks. These are signs of a potential correction to the trend line at $18,090. However, this is something investors will need to keep monitoring through the day.

In terms of fundamental analysis, yesterday’s Producer Price data and Retail Sales have added pressure on equities. Most analysis now believe the Federal Reserve will only opt for 2-3 hikes in 2024. Most economists still believe the Fed will cut in June, but rate cuts thereafter will be less frequent. Some analysts advise if this continues, the index will struggle to renew highs from March 8th.

Michalis Efthymiou

Market Analyst

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