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USD/JPY shot higher Thursday after U.S. retail sales topped estimates, which allowed the rate to more than erase the prior day's losses. It last sits at Y109.74, virtually unchanged on the day, with bulls looking to a move through the 20-EMA at Y109.86. Above there would open up Sep 8/Aug 13 highs of Y110.45/46. Bears look for a fall through Aug 16 & Sep 15 lows of Y109.11 towards Aug 4 low of Y108.72.
- Former Internal Affairs Min Seiko Noda made a last-minute announcement that she will join the race to replace PM Suga, running against Taro Kono, Fumio Kishida and Sanae Takaichi. The Japan Times reported that her "candidacy is expected to split votes that could have gone for vaccine chief Taro Kono and make it harder for any candidate to win a majority in the first round of voting".
- After hours on Thursday our policy team flagged their understanding that "the Bank of Japan will be careful not to unnerve markets when it attempts to scale back emergency pandemic measures to support corporate financing and liquidity after the government eases Covid restrictions as early as the fourth quarter this year." This will present no surprise to market participants and BoJ watchers.
- Japan's Cabinet lowered their economic assessment for the first time since May, noting that the pace of recovery has slowed.
- The upcoming BoJ MonPol decision (Wednesday) headlines the local docket next week, alongside national CPI and flash Jibun Bank PMIs (Friday). Japan will observe public holidays on Monday and Thursday next week.