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  • Escalating US-China tensions benefitted the safe-haven JPY and exerted some pressure on USD/JPY.
  • A goodish pickup in the USD demand extended some support and helped limit any deeper losses.
  • Traders are likely to wait for a sustained breakthrough 50-day SMA before placing any bullish bets.

The USD/JPY pair remained on the defensive through the early North American session, albeit has managed to recover around 30-35 pips from daily swing lows to the 107.30 region.

The pair continued with its struggle to decisively break through the 50-day SMA barrier near the 107.85-90 region and witnessed some intraday selling on the last trading day of the week. Concerns over worsening US-China relations weighed on investors’ sentiment and benefitted the safe-haven Japanese yen, which exerted some pressure on the USD/JPY pair.

Meanwhile, the pair had a rather muted reaction to the outcome of an unscheduled Bank of Japan meeting earlier this Friday. However, a strong pickup in the US dollar demand extended some support and seemed to be the only factor behind the USD/JPY pair’s intraday bounce from the lower end of a three-day-old trading range support near the 107.30 region.

It, however, remains to be seen if the pair is able to capitalize on the attempted bounce or remains capped below the mentioned hurdle in the absence of any major market-moving economic releases from the US. Hence, it will be prudent to wait for some strong follow-through buying before positioning for any further near-term appreciating move.

Technical levels to watch