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GBP JPY Investing - How to Trade GBP JPY

October 05, 2020 13:17 UTC
Reading time: 20 minutes

In 2020, the UK and Japan signed a historic free trade agreement that is set to boost UK trade with the world's third-largest economy by more than £15 billion. This means a huge boost in currency transactions on the Great British Pound (GBP) and Japanese Yen (JPY) currency pair. It's just one reason GBP JPY investing is on the rise among institutions and why now is one of the best times in history to learn more about it.

In this article, you will learn:

  • How the GBP JPY exchange rate moves and why.
  • The influences which causes GBP JPY to move between 200 and 1,500 pips a week.
  • How to access advanced trading tools completely FREE to find unique trading opportunities when performing GBP JPY technical analysis and fundamental analysis.
  • How to open a FREE demo trading account with Admiral Markets UK Ltd to test your strategies and ideas in a virtual trading environment until you are ready to go live.
  • How to open a Trade.MT4 account and trade currencies like GBP JPY commission-free with spreads from just 0.5 pips.
  • A GBP JPY trading strategy you can get started with right away.
  • And much, much more. Read on and let's get started!

How to Trade GBP JPY

What is GBP JPY investing and how does it work?

GBP JPY is the currency pair symbol for how the British pound moves against the Japanese Yen. The first currency in the pairing is known as the base currency and the second currency in the pairing is known as the term, or counter currency. The base currency is always equal to one.

If the GBP JPY exchange rate was trading at 135.75, this tells us that one British pound would buy you 135.75 Japanese Yen. However, at most currency exchanges (like the one in airports) and in most trading platforms there are usually two exchange rates quoted for a currency pairing, as the example from the MetaTrader 4 trading platform provided by Admiral Markets shows below:

how to trade gbp jpy - exchange rate

Source: MetaTrader 4 trading platform provided by Admiral Markets.

In the above image, it shows a bid price and ask price which will constantly fluctuate as live prices move up and down. In the next section, further down this article, we will explain some of the major influences causing GBP JPY to move up and down.

  • If a trader believes that GBP JPY exchange is going to rise, they may buy (or go long) on the currency pair which they can only do at the ask price level.
  • If a trader believes the exchange is going to fall, they may sell (or short) GBP JPY which they can only do at the bid price level. You can read more about short-selling in the 'What is Short Selling?' article.

The difference between the bid price and the ask price is the spread which is just one cost of trading. In the example above, the spread is 0.027 pips (the term used to refer to one unit of price movement). This is calculated by subtracting the ask price from the bid price (135.539 - 135.512 = 0.027). As the minimum contract size is 0.01 pips, the spread of GBP JPY in the example above would be referred to as 2.7 pips (0.027 / 0.01 = 2.7).

This basically means that if you bought at the ask price, then the market would have to move at least 2.7 pips higher for you to break even, as now the bid price (the price you sell at) would be the same level as the price you bought at (the ask price). Anything above 2.7 pips is profit. Of course, if the market did not go higher then you would be losing pips and therefore be in a loss.

You can also view the spread directly in the MetaTrader 4 trading platform, as shown below. The red horizontal line is the ask price and the faint grey line underneath is the bid price. Both of these levels are shown in the red and black box on the x-axis which shows the exchange rate's price level. You can also see the bid price and ask price in the top-left box which is used for one-click trading.

gbp jpy investing example MetaTrader 4

A screenshot of the MetaTrader 4 trading platform provided by Admiral Markets showing example bid and ask prices on GBP JPY.

Disclaimer: Charts for financial instruments in this article are for illustrative purposes and do not constitute trading advice or a solicitation to buy or sell any financial instrument provided by Admiral Markets (CFDs, Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs), Shares). Past performance is not necessarily an indication of future performance.

Did you know that you can view live prices of GBP JPY and on more than 40+ other currency pairs directly from the MetaTrader 4 trading platform provided by Admiral Markets? Through this platform, you can also access advanced trading tools and indicators and trade directly from the chart with one-click trading!

Start your FREE download by clicking on the banner below:

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Now let's have a look at what influences the price movement of GBP JPY before looking at the best times to trade GBP JPY and a GBP JPY trading strategy.

GBP JPY Investing - What causes GBP JPY to move?

There are a variety of factors that influence the movement of GBP JPY. Not only will there be domestic issues in the UK or Japan that affect the strength or weakness of their currency, but also imports and exports will play a big role.

As a large portion of institutional trading orders are from programmed algorithmic trading strategies, technical analysis can also impact the price of a market such as GBP JPY. Let's have a look at fundamental analysis first and then technical analysis.

GBP JPY Fundamental Analysis

Fundamental analysis is the study of economic data to identify the strength or weakness of an economy and subsequent capital flows in and out of a country. These data points could include international trade flows between the UK and Japan, demographics trends, interest rate changes, employment figures, central bank policy and more. Some of the key economic indicators to take into consideration include:

1. The Bank of Japan

While Japan has the third-largest economy in the world, the country has struggled with deflation since 1980, largely due to a huge real estate bubble in 1980, the stock market bubble in 1990, the Great Hanshin earthquake in 1995 and the 2001 economic bubble burst. This period was dubbed the Lost Decade. At this time the Bank of Japan started quantitative easing which was then commonly used by all central banks to deal with the 2008 financial crisis.

The Japanese economy was only just starting to get better in 2006 before the 2008 financial recession decimated its economy once again. It is during this time the bank started buying Japanese government bonds and in 2012 then Prime Minister Shinzo Abe embarked on Abenomics.

This term referred to Abe's economic policies that were designed to curb deflation by increasing the nation's money supply, boosting government spending and trying to make the Japanese economy more competitive. Subsequently, the bank has kept a path of zero interest rates for quite some time. This is why the Japanese Yen is often used as a funding currency to purchase yield abroad. It's also a reason why Japan has been the biggest investor in the world for the past three decades.

2. The Bank of England

The UK's central bank has a wide range of responsibilities and acts as the government's bank and the lender of last resort. Its focus is primarily to oversee monetary policy for the UK and sets the official interest rate through the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC). The Committee meets eight times a year to discuss whether interest rates should change, or not, to meet the government's inflation target.

Before the financial crisis in 2008, the interest rate was set at 5%. After a very rocky period dogged by the UK's decision to leave the EU called Brexit and the coronavirus pandemic, interest rates fell to 0.1% in 2020, with some predicting the potential of negative interest rates at some point in the future.

While the Japanese Yen is the third most actively traded currency in the world, after the US dollar and euro, the British pound's level of activity has fallen due to a shrinking and uncertain economy surrounding the impact of Brexit.

You can learn more about what's going on in the market through the Admiral Markets Trading Spotlight webinar series. Three times a week a professional trader will talk through the markets and how to trade them. They are completely FREE to attend but you need to reserve your complimentary spot. To do so, simply click on the banner below:

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3. Economic data

Both the UK and Japan release regular economic data announcements. These can have both short-term and long-term impacts on the price direction of GBP JPY. Many traders would attempt to use technical analysis to try and capitalise on the short-term volatility, while some will use technical analysis if a trend develops in the fundamental picture.

You can keep track of economic news announcements from the Admiral Markets Forex Calendar page. Here you can also register for free newsletters and listen the to Weekly Trading Podcast and read about other market-moving news in the Trader's Blog section. In the calendar, you can filter to view UK and Japan news announcements by the level of impact, as shown below:

GBP JPY Economic data


A screenshot of the Admiral Markets Forex Calendar.

GBP JPY Technical Analysis

Technical analysis of the currency markets is very popular. It is the practice of studying patterns in historical price movement to identify clues on whether buyers or sellers are in control of the market and where price could potentially move to next. There are three main types of technical analysis:

  1. Bar/candle patterns. This is the study of individual time-based price bars/candles such as the daily, four-hour and thirty-minute price bar or candle. Each bar or candle shows the open, high, low and close information and there are many different types of patterns traders would use to identify trading opportunities. You can learn more in the 'Price Action Trading Strategies' article.
  1. Chart patterns. This the study of groups of bars and price action to identify graphical patterns that develop over a longer-term. In this type of analysis, traders would use drawing tools such as trend lines, horizontal lines, Fibonacci lines and others to identify well-known chart patterns such as symmetrical triangles, cup and handle patterns to name a few.
  1. Indicators. Technical trading indicators are used to help identify a multitude of scenarios such as overbought, oversold price conditions, market trends, reversals and more. The MetaTrader trading platform provides a large range of different trading indicators that are categorised through Trend, Oscillators and Volume indicators.

Below is an example of a GBP JPY price chart with a variety of technical indicators, including Envelopes, the Stochastic Oscillator and the MACD. All - and more - are available from the MetaTrader trading platform provided by Admiral Markets. gbp jpy technical analysis

A screenshot of the MetaTrader 4 trading platform provided by Admiral Markets showing a range of different indicators.

Disclaimer: Charts for financial instruments in this article are for illustrative purposes and do not constitute trading advice or a solicitation to buy or sell any financial instrument provided by Admiral Markets (CFDs, Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs), Shares). Past performance is not necessarily an indication of future performance.

Did you know that you can upgrade and supercharge your MetaTrader 4 trading platform to the Supreme Edition provided exclusively by Admiral Markets? With this FREE upgrade, you can access even more indicators such as Pivot Points, Renko Charts, Keltner Lines and Sentiment and Correlation indicators.

You can start your FREE download of the Admiral Market Supreme Edition plugin and supercharge your trading today by clicking on the banner below:

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You can even access a mini-terminal which provides symbol information such as Trend, Momentum and Strength, as well as the ability to calculate position sizes through an inbuilt risk management calculator. The below image shows just a few of the advanced indicators you can use when upgrading your MetaTrader platform to the Supreme Edition by Admiral Markets.

GBP JPY technical analysis tools

A screenshot of the MetaTrader 4 trading platform provided by Admiral Markets showing a range of different indicators from the MetaTrader Supreme Edition plugin.

Disclaimer: Charts for financial instruments in this article are for illustrative purposes and do not constitute trading advice or a solicitation to buy or sell any financial instrument provided by Admiral Markets (CFDs, Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs), Shares). Past performance is not necessarily an indication of future performance.

When is the best time to trade GBP JPY?

Picking the best time to trade GBP JPY will be dependent on the trading strategy you use. Even then, not every time you trade will be the best time as there are many different influences on the price volatility of GBP JPY. This is why risk management should be the hallmark of any GBP JPY trading strategies.

However, many traders do like to trade when there is the largest amount of volatility in the market rather than the lowest amount. The Average True Range (ATR) indicator can help traders to identify when volatility levels are higher than usual. This is because the indicator measures the high to low of the bar timeframe you are viewing and then finds the average of these values over a 'user-defined' period of bars looking back.

For example, in the screenshot below it shows the ATR (14) indicator plotted on the GBP JPY one-hour price chart. The ATR (14) indicator shows us the average range of these one-hour bars over the past fourteen bars. The vertical lines on the chart are 'period separators' and they indicate the start of the trading day and the end. What is evident is that the ATR tends to tick upwards a little after the vertical line or beginning of the day.

best time to trade gbp jpy

Source: Admiral Markets MetaTrader 4, GBPJPY, H1 - Data range: from 18 September 2020 to 1 October 2020, accessed on 1 October 2020 at 3:07 pm BST. - Please note: Past performance is not a reliable indicator of future results.

Interestingly, the uptick in the ATR (14) indicator occurs just around the European session open when London-dealing desks start to open and transact in GBP JPY. As London shares the same time zone with Asia and the US, there tends to be an increase in volatility in the currency markets when this session opens.

Of course, this is only a small sample of price data to analyse and things will change over time. But it does serve as a great starting point for further analysis and refinement of a trading strategy.

If you're feeling inspired to start trading, or this article has provided some extra insight to your existing trading knowledge, you may be pleased to know that Admiral Markets provides the ability to trade with Forex and CFDs, with the latest market updates and technical analysis provided for FREE!

Click the banner below to open your live account today!

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Now let's take a look at an example of a possible GBP JPY trading strategy.

A GBP JPY trading strategy example

When it comes to trading the financial markets there are many different types of trading strategies available. Choosing the right one for yourself does require some trial and error as every trader has different resources, attitudes and personality. The most important part is to keep it as simple as possible when you first start trading and then build upon it as you develop more experience as a trader.

Let's go through a simple way to start building the foundations of a trading strategy. To start with, let's use one of the most popular trading indicators to identify the trend - moving averages. Below is a four-hour chart of GBP JPY showing the 21 exponential moving average (21 EMA) in blue and the 50 exponential moving average (50 EMA) in red.

gbp jpy trading strategy - example of how to trade GBP JPY

Source: Admiral Markets MetaTrader 4, GBPJPY, H4 - Data range: from 19 August 2020 to 1 October 2020, accessed on 1 October 2020 at 3:37 pm BST. - Please note: Past performance is not a reliable indicator of future results.

To add a moving average on your chart, simply click in the Insert tab from the top menu in the MetaTrader 4 trading platform, then select Indicators -> Trend -> Moving Average. In the pop-up box, you can select the period and the colour as above.

As moving averages are used to identify the trend of the market, they can be used for the first few rules, as stated below:

  • Rule 1:
    • Identify long positions only when the 21 EMA is above the 50 EMA.
  • Rule 2:
    • Identify short positions only when the 21 EMA is below the 50 EMA.

In the chart above, it's clear to see that - on average and certainly not all the time - price does conform to the above. The only exception is when the trend is changing and the price is moving through the moving averages.

Now let's have a look at some additional rules to find the potential areas where price could turn in line with the trend. To do this, we can use an overbought and oversold oscillator like the Stochastic Oscillator. To plot this onto the chart simply click on Insert from the top menu, then Indicators -> Oscillators -> Stochastic Oscillator. You can adjust the settings in the box or keep them as the default. For this example, we will set the %K period to 3, the %D period to 3 and the Slowing line to 3.

gbp jpy strategy using the stochastic indicator

Source: Admiral Markets MetaTrader 4, GBPJPY, H4 - Data range: from 19 August 2020 to 1 October 2020, accessed on 1 October 2020 at 3:47 pm BST. - Please note: Past performance is not a reliable indicator of future results.

When one of the Stochastic lines goes above the 80 level it is deemed overbought. If one of them goes below the 20 level it is deemed oversold. Now let's further elaborate on our rules stated earlier.

  • Rule 1:
    • Identify long positions only when the 21 EMA is above the 50 EMA.
    • And when one of the Stochastic lines is oversold and below the 20 level.
  • Rule 2:
    • Identify short positions only when the 21 EMA is below the 50 EMA.
    • And when one of the Stochastic lines is overbought and above the 80 level.

The yellow boxes in the chart below show instances of both rules one and two.

how to trade gbp jpy strategy using the stochastic and MA indicators

Source: Admiral Markets MetaTrader 4, GBPJPY, H4 - Data range: from 19 August 2020 to 1 October 2020, accessed on 1 October 2020 at 3:57 pm BST. - Please note: Past performance is not a reliable indicator of future results.

In some, but not all cases, price did turn and continue to move in the direction of the trend. Traders would typically further elaborate on these rules and add in more indicators, price action clues and risk management rules.

Placing a trade on GBP JPY is fairly simple. Once in the GBP JPY price chart, simply press F9 on your keyboard or select New Order at the top and a trading ticket will open for you to input your entry, stop loss take profit and risk management levels, as shown below.

how to trade gbp jpy - example trading ticket mt4

Source: Admiral Markets MetaTrader 4, GBPJPY, H4 - Data range: from 19 August 2020 to 1 October 2020, accessed on 1 October 2020 at 4:01 pm BST. - Please note: Past performance is not a reliable indicator of future results.

Why start GBP JPY investing with Admiral Markets?

If you trade the GBP JPY currency pair with Admiral Markets, you can:

  • Trade 24 hours a day, five days a week across multiple asset classes.
  • Trade with a well-established, regulated company including regulation from the highly respected UK Financial Conduct Authority.
  • Use leverage of up to 30:1 for retail clients and 500:1 for clients categorised as professional.
  • Access the fastest and most secure trading platforms from MetaTrader on desktop, web or mobile and upgrade them to the supercharged Admiral Markets Supreme Edition completely FREE.
  • Open a Zero.MT4 account and trade with spreads as low as 0 pips with low commissions of just 1.8 USD per lot.
  • Open a Trade.MT4 account and trade currencies commission-free with spreads as low as 0.5 pips.

One of the best ways to get started is to test out all the services, products and trading conditions offered by Admiral Markets by opening a FREE demo trading account. Test your ideas and strategies in a virtual trading environment until you are ready to go live!

Click on the banner below to get started today!

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About Admiral Markets

Admiral Markets is a multi-award winning, globally regulated Forex and CFD broker, offering trading on over 8,000 financial instruments via the world's most popular trading platforms: MetaTrader 4 and MetaTrader 5. Start trading today!

This material does not contain and should not be construed as containing investment advice, investment recommendations, an offer of or recommendation for any transactions in financial instruments. Please note that such trading analysis is not a reliable indicator for any current or future performance, as circumstances may change over time. Before making any investment decisions, you should seek advice from independent financial advisors to ensure you understand the risks.