The GBP/JPY cross attracts some intraday sellers following an uptick to the 188.65 area and drops to a fresh daily low during the first half of the European session on Monday. Spot prices currently trade around the 188.25-188.20 region and look to extend Friday's late pullback from the vicinity of the 189.00 round figure, or the YTD peak.
Investors seem convinced that the Bank of Japan (BoJ) will eventually pivot away from its ultra-loose monetary policy settings after the outcome of annual wage negotiations in March. This, to a larger extent, helps offset BoJ Deputy Governor Shinichi Uchida's dovish remarks on Thursday, saying that aggressive tightening is unlikely even after an exit from the negative interest rate policy and underpins the Japanese Yen (JPY). The British Pound (GBP), on the other hand, meets with some supply in the wake of reviving US Dollar (USD) demand, which, in turn, is seen as another factor exerting downward pressure on the GBP/JPY cross.
The GBP is further weighed down by growing acceptance that the Bank of England (BoE) could lower borrowing costs in the next few months. In fact, the current market pricing suggests that the UK central bank could deliver four 25 basis points (bps) interest rate cuts by the end of the year. This, in turn, suggests that the path of least resistance for the GBP/JPY cross is to the downside and supports prospects for deeper losses. Bearish traders, however, might wait for this week's key UK macro releases – starting with the jobs report on Tuesday, followed by consumer inflation figures and the prelim Q4 GDP print, on Wednesday and Thursday, respectively.
Investors will further take cues from BoE Governor Andrew Bailey's scheduled speech on Wednesday for some meaningful impetus. Hence, it will be prudent to wait for strong follow-through selling before confirming that the GBP/JPY cross has topped out in the near term and positioning for further losses.
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