Despite a late-week rebound in demand for the Pound as hopes of a Brexit delay rose, the British Pound to Yen exchange rate plummeted last week and was unable to recover far from its worst levels due to broader market demand for safe haven currencies like the Japanese one.
Brexit jitters and safe haven demand left GBP/JPY falling throughout the week. After opening the week at the level of 148.22, GBP/JPY was unable to return to the weekâ€™s opening levels and quickly shed over three Yen in value. On Thursday, GBP/JPY briefly touched on a low of 144.32 â€“ which was the worst level for the pair since early-March.
Towards the end of the week GBP/JPY rebounded just slightly due to fresh Brexit delay hopes, but the safe haven Japanese Yen remained appealing and GBP/JPY only recovered to around the level of 145.00.
Pound to Japanese Yen (GBP/JPY) Exchange Rate Plummets as Safe Haven Yen Benefits from Brexit Fears
Throughout the past week, a combination of global factors and weaknesses in major rivals left the safe haven Japanese Yen one of the most appealing major currencies.
Safe haven currencies typically benefit in times of global uncertainty, as investors buy assets which are perceived as safe and reliable.
The Japanese Yen was the marketâ€™s safe haven currency of choice last week, as its safe haven rival the US Dollar (USD) was hit by a dovish tone from the Federal Reserve. The Euro (EUR), another major Yen rival, tumbled in reaction to weak Eurozone manufacturing data.
Investors found the Japanese Yen particularly appealing versus the Pound though, as last week saw a resurgence in concerns that a no-deal Brexit was still possible.
When the UK government asked to delay the formal Brexit process, the EU was initially hesitant to allow any Brexit delay at all unless UK Parliament could reach an agreement on how to proceed with Brexit.
This worsened concerns about a no-deal Brexit becoming reality next Friday, until the EU confirmed it would delay Brexit until at least the 12th of April to allow the UK time to find an alternative solution.
Still, while this late-week development supported the Pound, the chaos surrounding Brexit still left investors hesitant to take risks and the safe haven Japanese Yen benefitted until the end of the week.
Pound (GBP) Exchange Rate Forecast: Focus Remains on Brexit Chaos and Lingering No-Deal Fears
The Pound is in for another week of high volatility and uncertainty, with UK Parliament looking to decide both the length of the (first?) Brexit delay, as well as potentially whatâ€™s next for the Brexit process.
The UK government is looking to hold a third meaningful Parliament vote on its Brexit plan, but analysts doubt the government will have the support needed to pass its plan through.
In the event the deal does pass, Sterling would surge as a soft Brexit would be confirmed and Brexit uncertainty would be doused.
However, the deal being blocked a third time is more likely. This would mean Brexit being delayed two weeks, to the 12th of April, and Parliament needing to decide how to proceed.
Depending on Parliamentâ€™s next steps on Brexit, the Pound is likely to be strongly influenced.
The Pound may also be influenced by Fridayâ€™s UK data, which includes UK growth and business investment stats, but only if there are no fresh Brexit developments to drive currency movement at the end of the week.
Japanese Yen Exchange Rate Forecast: Safe Haven Demand and Friday Data to Drive JPY
The Japanese Yenâ€™s status as a safe haven currency will likely continue to influence Yen movement over the next week, as the US and China are set to begin another round of trade negotiations.
If the US and China get closer to reaching some kind of agreement on trade, investors will become more willing to take risks and safe haven currencies like the Yen will weaken. This would make it easier for the Pound to Yen exchange rate to recover in the coming week.
On the other hand though, if negotiations go poorly or Brexit uncertainties remain rife, investors may continue to find the safe haven allure of the Japanese Yen appealing.
Risk-sentiment aside, the Japanese Yen could also be influenced by some major Japanese data due towards the end of the week.
Thursday will see the publication of Japanâ€™s latest foreign bond investment data, followed by a slew of influential stats on Friday including Japanese inflation, unemployment, retail sales, industrial production, and construction orders.
Overall, next week looks to be another busy one for the Pound to Japanese Yen exchange rate.