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   “¢   Global growth concerns/US-China trade uncertainties underpin JPY’s safe-haven demand.
   “¢   Sliding US bond yields offset the recent USD rally and do little to lend any support.
   “¢   Broader market risk sentiment to act as a key determinant amid absent economic releases.

The USD/JPY pair held on the defensive through the Asian session on Friday, albeit remained well within this week’s broader trading range.  

Having repeatedly failed to make it through the key 110.00 psychological mark in a decisive manner, the pair struggled to attract any buying interest and remained on the back-foot amid a fresh wave of global risk-aversion trade.  

Growing worries about slowing global growth reemerged on Thursday after the European Commission lowered its Euro-zone economic growth forecasts for this year and next and were further compounded amid uncertainties over US-China trade negotiations.

The US President Donald Trump said that he did not plan to meet with Chinese President Xi Jinping before a March 1 deadline to achieve a trade deal and was eventually seen lending some support to the Japanese Yen’s relative safe-haven status.  

The prevalent risk-off mood also triggered a sharp decline in the US Treasury bond yields, which partly offset the continuation of the recent US Dollar rally to a near two-week high and further collaborated to the pair’s subdued/range-bound price action.

In absence of any major market moving economic releases, the broader market risk-sentiment might continue to act as an exclusive driver of the pair’s momentum on the last trading day of the week.

Technical levels to watch

Immediate support is pegged near mid-109.00s, below which the pair is likely to accelerate the slide towards 109.20 intermediate support en-route the 109.00 handle. On the flip side, the 110.00 handle remains a key hurdle, which if conquered could assist the pair to aim towards testing 50-day SMA, currently near the 110.55 region.