The USD/JPY surges to an 8-week high

Markets gear up on the possibility of the BoJ ending its negative interest rate policy

By Nadia Elbilassy | @Nadia Elbilassy | 19 January 2024

Market close
  • The USD/JPY reached an eight-week high, surpassing 148.80, ahead of the Bank of Japan's policy meeting, where a potential end to the negative interest rate policy may impact the yen's recent depreciation.

  • Unemployment claims showed a surprising drop, with filings totaling 187,000, the lowest since Sept. 24, 2022, indicating a positive trend in the labor market.

  • Oil prices found some stability over production disruptions in the US due to weather conditions.

On the Market Watch!


The USD/JPY currency pair surged to an eight-week high, surpassing 148.80 before stabilizing around 148.35.

The pair has been fueling momentum ahead of the Bank of Japan's policy meeting scheduled for Tuesday. With widespread speculation that the central bank might deliberate on ending its negative interest rate policy, a potential decision that could impact the recent depreciation of the yen.

Unemployment claims

The labor market continued to show off again in 2024, with jobless claims posting a surprise drop last week.

The Labor Department's report on Thursday revealed that filings for unemployment insurance totaled 187,000 for the week ending Jan. 13, marking the lowest level since Sept. 24, 2022. This figure represented a drop of 16,000 from the previous week and was below the Dow Jones estimate of 208,000.

Oil prices

Oil prices found some stability on Friday after rising in the previous session, as markets were affected by disruptions in U.S. oil production because of weather conditions.

Meanwhile, there are still concerns regarding the US and China tensions especially as we approach the US elections, which could negatively impact oil demand. Concerns about falling demand in China also increased after weak GDP data and expectations of an increase in supply.

Brent rose to $78.57 dollars while WTI hovered near $73.78. Both benchmarks were headed for a weekly gain.