USDJPY is trending lower on its 4-hour time frame, moving inside a descending channel pattern. Price is currently testing the channel resistance around 109.50 and might be due for a move back to the bottom or the swing low.
The top of the channel lines up with the 50% Fibonacci retracement level that might be enough to keep gains in check. A higher correction could last until the 61.8% Fib closer to the 100 SMA dynamic inflection point. This short-term moving average is below the 200 SMA so the path of least resistance is to the downside.
Stochastic is also turning lower from the overbought area to signal a pickup in selling pressure. A bearish divergence can be seen as price made lower highs while the oscillator had higher highs since mid-January.
Economic data from the US was mostly stronger than expected but this failed to give the dollar a strong lift. The ISM manufacturing PMI fell from 59.7 to 59.1 to reflect a slower pace of industry growth, but the reading was better than the 58.7 consensus. However, the jobs component posted a sharp decline, leading to downbeat expectations for the NFP.
Analysts are expecting to see an increase of 181K in hiring, slightly stronger than the earlier 148K gain. The ADP report has beat expectations, but it’s also worth noting that the earlier figure was downgraded. Also, Challenger job cuts were up 37.7% for January.
As for the yen, data from Japan has been mixed, with the final manufacturing PMI enjoying an upgrade and retail sales beating expectations. Household spending and housing starts fell short of estimates while the jobs report showed promising components.