Major FX traded in narrow ranges again today. USD/JPY was once again a focus after the rally on Monday took it to highs circa 151.75. After a small pullback it traded slightly above 151.75 during the session here.

On the data front we had Japan's monetary base expanding 1.6% y/y in March, from 2.4% in February. This was the fifth straight month of slowdown in the annual pace of increase, an indication of the Bank of Japan trimming back its enormous stimulus.

On the intervention front we had comments, again, from Japanese Finance Minister Suzuki. With little impact.

Over to the AUD, which didn’t move much either. We had minutes from the Reserve Bank of Australia March meeting. At that meeting the Bank pulled back on its hawkishness, and the minutes today were further confirmation of the move to a neutral bias. The RBA did not discuss a rate hike at this meeting.

Bitcoin and ETH (and indeed the crypto complex) lost a little ground during the session, a follow through from its move lower on Monday.

China was interesting. The People’s Bank of China set the USD/CNY reference rate more than 1400 pips from the model estimate. This was the biggest discrepancy since October in 2023 and indicates how seriously the Bank is taking providing support for the weak yuan. Indeed, later in the morning in China, major state owned banks were in the market selling USD/CNY. USD/CNY had hit a four-and-a-half month high (i.e. the yuan had dropped to a four-and-a-half month low), prompting the intervention.

USD/JPY trekking along just under 152.00:

usdyen wrap chart 02 April 2024 2