Falling Dollar, Higher Japanese GDP Pushes Yen Exchange Rate To Highest Level in May

On Thursday morning, the Japanese yen traded at its highest level vs. the U.S. dollar since April 26, 2017. At 5:45 a.m. EDT, during the European trading session, the USD/JPY exchange rate briefly touched 110.239 - the highest rate for the Japanese yen in May.

Japan’s currency has strengthened considerably since the beginning of this week, mainly due to the weakening U.S. dollar, but also as a result of Wednesday’s Preliminary GDP print, which showed the Japanese economy growing at a rate of 0.5 percent in the first quarter of this year.

Analysts estimated that Japan’s Q1 GDP would come in at 0.4 percent!

News of the better-than-expected GDP data out of Japan, in addition to the falling U.S. Dollar Index, which dropped to 6-month lows (97.33) on Wednesday after odds of a Trump impeachment began to rise, gave the yen a considerable boost this week.

The yen saw its biggest surge on Wednesday, when the USD/JPY rate closed the day with a loss of approximately 2 percent - the biggest one-day gain for the yen since July 29, 2016:

While the Japanese yen was trading higher against the dollar in the early-morning hours, the yen's gains were mostly gone by 10:00 a.m., and by 1:30 p.m., the yen started to loose ground against the greenback. The yen closed on Thursday with a loss of 0.59 percent against the USD (111.483).

JPY banknote photo by Katy Ereira