USD/JPY is expected to consolidate in a lower range after hitting the 12.5-year high of 124.46 on Thursday. USD/JPY is undermined by the softer USD sentiment (ICE spot dollar index last 96.87 versus 97.29 early Thursday) as more-than-expected 282,000 US jobless claims in the week ended May 23 (versus forecast 272,000) offset stronger-than-expected 3.4% increase in the US April pending home sales (versus forecast +1.0%). USD/JPY is also weighed by the lower shorter-dated US Treasury yields (2-year at 0.628% versus 0.652% late Wednesday), diminished investor risk appetite (VIX fear gauge rose 0.3% to 13.31, S&P 500 closed 0.13% lower at 2,120.79 overnight) following a steep drop in the Chinese stocks Thursday (Shanghai Composite Index plunged 6.5%), Japan's exports and profit-taking on long-USD positions ahead of the weekend. But USD sentiment is soothed by the comments from Fed's Williams that the US central bank is likely to raise interest rates this year and start the gradual process of the monetary policy normalization. USD/JPY losses are also tempered by the demand from the Japanese importers and the Bank of Japan's ultra-loose monetary policy.
The daily chart is still positive-biased as the MACD is bullish, stochastics stays elevated at overbought levels; 5 and 15-day moving averages are advancing.
The pair is trading above its pivot point. It is likely to trade in a wider range as long as it remains above its pivot point. As long as the price holds above its pivot point, long positions are recommended with the first target at 124.30 and the second target at 124.80. In the alternative scenario, short positions are recommended with the first target at 122.85 if the price moves below its pivot points. A break of this target is likely to push the pair further downwards, and one may expect the second target at 122.45. The pivot point is at 123.40.
Resistance levels: 124.30 124.80 125.50
Support levels: 122.85 122.45 121.70
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