USD/JPY in search of direction, flat-lined around 109.30 level

The USD/JPY pair seesawed between tepid gains / minor losses within 25-pips narrow trading range above the 109.00 handle.

Currently trading around 109.30 level, unchanged from yesterday's closing level, the pair came under some selling pressure during early Asian session on the back of better than expected Japanese Manufacturing PMI, coming-in at a 2-month high level of 52.8 for April as compared to 52.4 in March.

Meanwhile, the US Treasury Secretary Mnuchin's positive comments on major tax reforms underpinned the US Dollar demand and helped limit further downslide. Also collaborating to the pair's bounce from session low was improving investors' risk-appetite, as depicted by positive trading sentiment surrounding equity markets, which tends to dent the Japanese Yen's safe-haven appeal.

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The pair, however, lacked any convincing move amid subdued performance by the US treasury bond yields and market anxiety ahead of the crucial first round of French Presidential elections on Sunday. 

Later during the day, Fedspeaks and the US economic docket, featuring the release of manufacturing and services PMI reports, and existing home sales data, would now be looked upon for some short-term trading impetus. 

Technical levels to watch

Bulls would be eyeing for a follow through buying interest beyond weekly highs resistance near mid-109.00s, above which the pair is likely to aim towards testing the key 110.00 psychological mark, with some intermediate hurdle near 109.80-85 area.

On the downside, weakness below 109.20-15 zone (session low) is likely to find support near the 109.00 handle, which if broken could accelerate the slide back towards 108.80-75 region (200-day SMA) en-route 108.50-45 horizontal support.

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