• USD/JPY scales higher for the third straight day and climbs to a fresh multi-week high.
  • Expectations for additional rate hikes by the Fed underpin the USD and lend support.
  • A combination of factors benefits the JPY and caps any meaningful upside for the pair.

The USD/JPY pair attracts some dip-buying near the mid-132.00s and turns positive for the third successive day on Wednesday. The pair sticks to its mildly positive tone through the first half of the European session and is currently placed just below the 133.50 level, or the highest level since January 6 touched in the last hour.

The US Dollar stands tall near a multi-week high and remains well supported by expectations for further policy tightening by the Fed, which, in turn, is seen acting as a tailwind for the USD/JPY pair. The markets now seem convinced that interest rates are going to remain higher for longer in the wake of stubbornly high inflation. The bets were lifted by the US CPI report released on Tuesday and hawkish comments by several FOMC members.

That said, a combination of factors seems to underpin the Japanese Yen (JPY) and caps any meaningful upside for the USD/JPY pair, at least for now. The market sentiment remains fragile amid concerns about economic headwinds stemming from rapidly rising borrowing costs. Moreover, the recent yield curve inversion adds to worries about an impending recession and takes its toll on the risk sentiment, which, in turn, benefits the safe-haven JPY.

Apart from this, the appointment of Kazuo Ueda to be the new Governor of the Bank of Japan (BoJ) fuels speculations about an eventual policy tightening sooner rather than later. In fact, Japan’s former Finance Minister Eisuke Sakakibara said that Ueda is likely to initially keep monetary policy steady and might raise rates in the fourth quarter. This is seen as another factor lending support to the JPY and keeping a lid on the USD/JPY pair.

Market participants now look forward to the US economic docket, featuring monthly Retail Sales and the Empire State Manufacturing Index later during the early North American session. The data might influence the USD price dynamics, which, along with the broader risk sentiment, should allow traders to grab short-term opportunities around the USD/JPY pair.

Technical levels to watch

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