USDJPY could be gearing up for another strong breakout, as the pair is moving inside an ascending triangle pattern on its 1-hour chart. Price is currently testing the top of the formation, still deciding whether to make a move back to the bottom or to have an upside breakout.
Stochastic is moving down and favoring another move lower, perhaps until the triangle support above 119.50. However, event risks for today might be a catalyst for a strong breakout in either direction. An upside break could lead to around 300 pips in gains, which is the same height as the chart pattern. Similarly, a downside break could spark a 300-pip selloff.
The US NFP release could spark directional moves for USDJPY, as the jobs data could determine whether or not the Fed might move closer to hiking interest rates this year. The economy is expected to show a 241K increase in hiring, lower compared to the previous 257K gain, while the jobless rate could improve.
Stronger than expected data could confirm the strengthening momentum of the US economic recovery, which could lead market participants to expect that the Fed will alter its forward guidance to indicate that they are considering hiking interest rates soon. This could lead to a strong upside break past 120 and further gains until the previous year highs close to 122 and beyond.
On the other hand, weak US jobs data might lead to a downside break from support and sustained losses for the pair, depending on how far the actual figures miss the mark. If the reading is enough for market participants to start doubting that the Fed would be able to tighten within the next few months, the dollar might be forced to return most of its recent gains. Using a straddle on this chart setup could work as a day trade or catching the momentum later on might be better for a USDJPY position trade.
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