What is the USD/JPY currency pair?
The USD/JPY currency pair is formed from the United States dollar as the base currency and the Japanese yen as the counter currency. It is one of the most liquid currency pairs, because the US dollar is the first reserve currency in the world with the yen is the fourth. The popular pair is one of seven currency pairs with the USD as a base currency.
A brief history of the US dollar
One of the world’s most influential currencies, the US dollar dates its history back to Joachimstal, now modern-day Germany. In the town, silver ‘thalers’ were minted, each with a standardised weight – 29.2 g. These coins were widely used across the European continent and eventually found its way to the New World – America.
Following the American Revolution, in 1972 the newly formed US Congress instated the ‘thaler’ as the official currency, although at a slightly lighter weight – 27.0 g. This was done as a method of standardisation, following the corrupt ‘continental bill’ system.
Although still closely tied to the price of silver and gold, the US dollar has developed as a currency spawning a multitude of coins and notes. Today, the currency is controlled by the Federal Reserve, the central bank of the United States, established in 1913.
The USD is the world’s foremost reserve currency, held by numerous countries as part of their foreign exchange reserves. It also makes up one-half of seven of the world’s Forex pairs.
What’s the story behind the Japanese yen?
Introduced to Japan in the New Currency Act of 1871 by the Meiji government, the yen is the official currency of Japan. The name means ‘circle’, and the currency was introduced to create a standardised measurement of currency for the nation after the Edo Period system.
In doing so, Japan began to use the gold standard measurement used across Europe, as the new yen was tied to the weight of gold – 1.5 g – and silver – 24.26 g. To regulate and mint the newly introduced currency, the Bank of Japan was founded.
Over its history, the yen has seen periods of appreciation and depreciation. One significant period occurred after the second world war, the yen experienced a significant downturn and introduced a fixed exchange rate. By 1971, the currency had risen in value and was allowed to float.
Although it continues to be floated today, the currency is considered to be controlled, with strict government currency intervention. As of 2018, the Japanese yen is the third most traded currency in the world and acts as an anchor or reserve currency, after the USD, EUR and GBP.
What influences the USD/JPY pair?
The USD/JPY pair is greatly influenced by the US Federal Reserve (Fed) and the Bank of Japan (BoJ). Actions taken by either of these institutions can cause a rise or fall in the rate, this can include announcements of new interest rates, monetary policies or new legislation.
The pair also reacts to government and political actions, such as the threat of an American-Chinese trade war in 2017, which caused a decline for the USD. Other world currency pairs can also affect its rate, such as the USD/CHF and USD/CAD.
How to trade the USD/JPY pair?
Follow Capital.com to keep up-to-date on the latest fluctuations of the USD/JPY share price. Get the most current USD/JPY to help you trade on one of the world’s most liquid currency pairs.