New highs have become a regular daily occurrence in both the currency market and stock market. Today, not only did the Dow Jones Industrial Average rise above 14,000, but GBP/JPY and AUD/JPY also hit fresh 14 and 15 year highs. In fact, all of the Yen crosses are up strongly today with USD/JPY setting up for a move back towards 124. This is of course contingent upon a break of 122.50, which is moving average and Fibonacci resistance. Once that level is cleared, the July seasonality effect is back in play. July has proven to be a positive month for USD/JPY nine out of the past ten years.
As long as we close the month above 123, 2007 will mark the tenth out of eleven years that USD/JPY has rallied in July. Seasonality is not 100 percent reliable, but the frequency of this repetitive price pattern makes it important. There are many reasons to explain why USD/JPY tends to behave this way in the month of July, including the fact that it is the end of the first quarter in Japan and the beginning of the second half of the year in the US. Fundamentally, the rise in core producer prices in June and strong foreign purchases of US securities in May has outweighed the drop in headline producer prices. If we get a similar situation of strong core, weak headline in US consumer prices tomorrow, we could see the breakout that we are looking for in USD/JPY. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke will be giving his semi-annual testimony on the economy and monetary policy. Many traders may not want to be short dollars going into the testimony. Meanwhile the surprise drop in the Japanese tertiary activity index last month has only helped to drive the yen lower today. Japanese leading indicators are due for release tonight, but they should not be market moving.