GBP/JPY advances towards 160.00 ahead of United Kingdom Retail Sales data

  • GBP/JPY is approaching 160.00 as investors are still confused about the Bank of Japan’s forward policy stance.
  • Bank of England might discover a meaningful downtrend in inflation from the late spring amid tight monetary policy.
  • The Bank of Japan could look for an exit from the expansionary policy as inflation is steadily rising.
  • GBP/JPY might display a power-pack action after the release of the United Kingdom Retail Sales data.

GBP/JPY has extended its recovery move above the critical resistance of 159.00 in the early European session. The cross is marching towards the round-level resistance of 160.00 ahead of the United Kingdom Retail Sales data.

On Thursday, the asset rebounded from 157.70 after the Bank of Japan (BOJ) maintained the status quo by keeping the interest rates and yield target unchanged. Bank of Japan (BoJ) Governor Haruhiko Kuroda kept the interest rate at -0.10% and the 10-year Japanese Government Bonds (JGBs) around 0% steady, commenting that there is “no need to further expand the bond target band.” He further added that Japan’s economy is still on the path towards recovery from the pandemic and the BoJ is aiming to achieve a 2% inflation target sustainably, stably in tandem with wage growth.

BOE’s Bailey sees a sheer declining inflation trend in the late Spring

Policymakers at the Bank of England (BOE) have put severe efforts for decelerating the pace of the Consumer Price Index (CPI) by accelerated interest rates. December’s CPI report has shown a consecutive decline in the inflation trend for the first time since the Covid-19 pandemic period, led by declining energy prices. The United Kingdom has been one of the laggards in slowing down the pace of inflation.

On Thursday, Bank of England Governor Andrew Bailey cited “He expects that inflation will fall quite rapidly this year, probably starting in the late spring. While commenting on the terminal rate, the Bank of England Governor sees the interest rate peak near the market expectations at 4.5%. The Bank of England Governor is seeing a shallow recession than the historic ones.

Earlier, Bank of England policymakers cited rising wages as responsible for escalating inflation. Bargaining power has been shifted in favor of job-seekers due to a shortage of labor.

Investors await United Kingdom Retail Sales for fresh cues

For further guidance, investors will keep an eye on the United Kingdom Retail Sales data, which is scheduled for Friday. As per the projections, the annual Retail Sales (Dec) data could contract by 4.1% vs. a contraction of 5.9% reported in the previous same period. However, the monthly economic data is expected to expand by 0.5% against the contraction of 0.4%. A recovery in the retail demand on a monthly basis could be the outcome of rising employment bills due to employees’ bargaining power, which is leaving more funds in the palms of households for disposal.

A better-than-projected retail demand could spur forward inflation expectations, which could accelerate hawkish Bank of England bets.

Mixed Japan’s inflation fails to provide any boost to the Japanese Yen

Bank of Japan’s unchanged monetary policy-inspired gains in GBP/JPY faded later as investors still believe that the central bank will look for an exit from its decade-long ultra-loose monetary policy. A rising trend in inflation and the administration’s effort to increase wages could end the expansionary monetary policy ahead. However, the release of the National CPI indicates that investors should wait further before reaching a conclusion.

Japan’s National headline CPI has landed at 4.0%, lower than the consensus of 4.4% but higher than the former release of 3.8%. While the core inflation that excludes oil and food prices has soared to 3.0% higher than the expectations of 2.9% and the prior release of 2.8%. National CPI that excludes fresh food has remained in line with the estimates at 4.0%.

GBP/JPY technical outlook

The recovery move from GBP/JPY around the upward-sloping trendline of the Ascending Triangle chart pattern plotted from the January 13 low at 155.65 has pushed it above the 20-period Exponential Moving Average (EMA) at 159.22. There is no denying the fact that the short-term trend is bullish now. The horizontal resistance of the volatility contraction chart pattern is placed from January 9 high at 160.92.

Meanwhile, the Relative Strength Index (RSI) (14) has scaled above 60.00, which indicates that the upside momentum is active now. Broadly, the cross might find barricades after reaching the horizontal resistance mentioned above.

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