The USD/JPY exchange rate fell to its lowest level since November 18, 2016, during Tuesday’s NY/London FX trading session.
The weakness in the pair was mainly driven by a declining U.S. Dollar Index, which dropped 0.25 percent on Tuesday due to a positive JOLTS job openings print for February.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) said 5.7 million job openings were available in the country on the last day of February, 2017, beating analysts’ expectations of 5.59 million:
“Job openings increased in a number of industries, with the largest changes occurring in health care and social assistance (+73,000), accommodation and food services (+66,000), and finance and insurance (+47,000). Job openings decreased in real estate and rental and leasing (-63,000) and mining and logging (-7,000).“The better-than-expected figure, which was released at 10:00 a.m. EST, sent the U.S. Dollar Index (DXY) as low as 100.58 on the day, erasing most of the gains the DXY had made since last Friday, when the U.S. unemployment rate hit a 9-year low:
The negative impact on the DXY from the JOLTS news could also be directly observed on the USD/JPY rate, which slid to its lowest rate in 2017 - 109.53 yen per dollar - by 5:00 p.m. on Tuesday.
Additionally, today's BLS release provided the necessary catalyst to pushe the USD/JPY rate under 110.20 - an important psychological level which the market has been unable to break since the end of March:
JPY banknote photo by Richard Cawood