It was a choppy, low volatility week for the Japanese yen as traders lacked major events from Japan and global risk catalysts to work with.
Overall, the yen closed the week as a net loser, weakening throughout the weak on net, especially on Friday session as risk sentiment leaned positive on Friday.
Japanese Headlines and Economic data
“Ten prefectures including Tokyo and Osaka will remain under a state of emergency due to COVID-19 through March 7, Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga announced Tuesday”
“He also announced that the government will bolster temporary loan emergency funds for the poor by up to ¥2 million, and those whose incomes have declined are exempt from repayment.”
“Household spending fell 0.6% in December compared with the same month a year earlier, official data showed on Friday. It was a slower decline than the 2.4% median forecast but the first year-on-year spending drop in three months.
For all of 2020, spending by households with at least two people fell 5.3% due to the hit from the pandemic. It was down 6.5% for all households, the worst drop since comparable data became available in 2001.”
“Japan has secured rights to at least 564 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines from Western developers, the biggest quantity in Asia and more than enough for its 126 million population.
But Japan has lagged behind other major economies in starting its COVID-19 inoculation campaign, partly because of its dependence on overseas makers and its requirement of domestic clinical trials for all vaccine candidates.”
Positive global risk sentiment was the likely catalyst for the yen’s broad move lower, positive vibes after the U.S. Senate voted to progress Biden’s $1.9 trillion COVID-19 stimulus plan.