Article Highlights

  • Japanese housing starts down by 3.3%
  • Japanese national core CPI up by 3.2% year-over-year
  • Japan’s jobless rate steady at 3.6%
  • Household spending down by 4.6% in Japan
  • Nikkei down by 0.34% for the trading day
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Yen pairs saw a lot of action in today’s Asian trading session, as traders got their first glimpse of Japanese data which include the effects of the April sales tax hike. After the dismal retail sales reading printed the previous day, Japan followed it up with a similarly disappointing household spending report and industrial production figure. Household spending slipped by 4.6% while industrial production fell by 2.5% on an annualized basis last month.

Meanwhile, core CPI surged as expected, with the figure coming in at 3.2% versus the estimated 3.1% reading. Tokyo core CPI was slightly weaker than expected at 2.8%. Housing starts showed a 3.3% decline, much better than the estimated 8.2% drop.

USD/JPY slipped to a low of 101.48 moments after the reports were released while EUR/JPY edged close to the 138.00 level. GBP/JPY was more resilient as it dipped to a low of 169.76 before quickly bouncing back above the 170.00 mark.

In the next few hours we’ll see German retail sales data, which is likely to fall short of expectations given the weakness in the country’s labor market. Switzerland is ready to print its KOF economic barometer, which might show a small improvement from 102.04 to 102.04 in May.


U.S. Session Recap

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