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Pound Japanese Yen Exchange Rate (GBP/JPY) Heads Lower as Japan Services PMI Better-Than-Expected

Pound Japanese Yen

The Pound Japanese Yen exchange rate has fallen during today’s session after the Japanese Yen found support from a better-than-expected services PMI from Japan.

At the time of writing the GBP/JPY pairing are trading at around 152.49 as the Pound is slipping after fresh concerns over the AstraZeneca vaccine.

Pound (GBP) Struggles as UK Medical Regulator Investigates AstraZeneca

Despite Prime Minister Boris Johnson confirming that the next step in England’s lockdown easing will go ahead on the 12th April, the Pound is down against the Japanese Yen during today’s session, the Pound has also fallen following profit taking.

It comes as the UK’s medicines regulator is examining potential links between the AstraZeneca jab and rare blood clots in those under the age of 30, the vaccines minister Nadhim Zahawi said yesterday:

‘To put it in perspective, we have done almost 20 million vaccinations using the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine. Both vaccines have saved something like 6,300 lives between December and the end of February, so it’s important to continue to follow what the clinicians, the scientists, the regulators tell us. And we will absolutely do exactly as they say.’

As investors become more cautious surrounding the UK’s economic recovery from the coronavirus pandemic, the Prime Minister this afternoon urged people to get the vaccine saying:

‘On the Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine, I think that the best thing people should do is, is look at what the MHRA say – they’re our independent regulator that’s why we have them. And their advice to people is to keep going out there, get your jab, get your second jab. Very, very important.’

Japanese Yen (JPY) Supported by Japanese Services PMI

The Japanese Yen is being supported against the Pound today following a better-than-expected services PMI from Japan.

As reported by Markit Economics, the au Jibun Bank Japan Services PMI was 48.3 in March 2021, beating forecasts of 46.5, signalling a softer contraction in business activity. The latest reading was the highest since January 2020.

Usamah Bhatti, Economist at IHS Markit, commented on the services PMI saying:

‘The Japanese services economy signalled a renewed move towards more stable business conditions in March. Latest PMI data indicated softer reductions in both business activity and new orders, with the former falling at the softest pace in 14 months.’

Pound Japanese Yen Exchange Rate Outlook: UK PMI in Focus

For Pound investors, tomorrow will see the final services PMI reading for March from the UK. A forecast of 56.8 would show the first expansion in the services sector since October 2020 which would bolster Sterling.

For Japanese Yen traders Thursday’s Japanese consumer confidence for March is expected to show an increase of 3 points.

If the figure meets forecast it would be the highest reading since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic which could push JPY higher in the second half of the week.