NFP no license to apply risk

Analysts’ employment expectations were blown out of the water on Friday. NFP produced a stellar report, creating +243k new jobs, pushing the unemployment rate down two ticks to +8.3%. Risk has been quickly applied and added to in the markets. The loonie is a shining example of a growth currency outperforming, especially on the back of its own disappointing employment report. However, beware of the extremely bearish risk factors lurking in the background i.e Euro debt crisis, slowing global growth and Iran nuclear concerns, which remain largely ignored, before wagering it all on risk. It’s a good start to 2012 for the Obama administration, but not a trend just yet. The headline print has managed to produce some blood on the “street”, they had predicted a more bearish print.

Below are some other highlights of the week:


  • USD: This week we saw incomes pick up during December, +0.5%, however, individuals chose to increase savings instead of spending, showing a caution that will likely keep the US economy in slow growth mode throughout 2012. November spending was unrevised at +0.1%.
  • USD: Unexpected poor Case-Schiller Home Prices and an unexpected Chicago PMI managed to trigger some macro-money profit taking on the last day of the month. Case-Schilller November 20-city HPI fell -1.3%, m/m. The housing market remains sluggish despite lower prices and interest rates, an abundance of foreclosures and tighter mortgage requirements.
  • USD: Chicago PMI was 60.2 compared with a forecast of 62.2. The forward looking component, the new order index, dropped in January to 63.6 from 67.1.
  • USD: US January consumer confidence retreats to 61.1 from 64.8, giving back some of the huge gains witnessed over the past two-months. The fallback was concentrated in consumers views of the current economy. The present situation index (current economic indicators) dropped to 38.4 from a revised 46.5-“consumers are more upbeat about employment but less optimistic about business conditions and their incomes.”
  • CAD: The Canadian economy shrank for the first time in six-months, dragged down mostly by a decline in energy output (oil and gas fell -2.5%), down -0.1% to +CAD$1.27t in November. The BoC released forecasts from two-weeks ago was for GDP growth to slow to +2% in October through December from +3.5% in Q3.
  • USD: ADP reported that Private Sector Jobs with small businesses lead the hiring +95k. However, the December print was revised lower to +292k from +325k. Its a “slow and steady pace” that could bring down the unemployment rate, but not rapid enough to return payrolls to their pre-recession peaks anytime soon.
  • USD: January ISM rises near to expectations of 54.1, proof that growth picked up last month. Digging deeper, prices gained ground after contracting in December, and hiring grew at a slightly slower pace. Factories continue to be a consistent contributor to overall growth.
  • USD: The number of US workers filing new claims for unemployment benefits declined last week (-12k to +367k), continuing the mostly improving trend seen in nine-months. The four-week moving average decreased by -2k to +375,750, remaining below that psychological +400k benchmark that’s required to add jobs to the economy.
  • USD: In his House Budget Committee testimony this week, Bernanke has not changed his tune, again stating that the economy has shown signs of improvement while remaining vulnerable to shocks, and he called on lawmakers to reduce the long-term US budget deficit.
  • USD: Dallas Fed Fisher (nonvoter) reiterated his opposition to further QE. He said that QE3 is not needed and that it would complicate the eventual tightening policies.
  • CAD: Employers hired far fewer workers than expected in Jan (+2.6k vs. +23k) and the jobless rate rose unexpectedly to +7.6% from +7.5%. The data reflects an economy that’s slowing and is consistent with the BoC keeping rates unchanged. Despite creating +129k jobs last year-growth was in the first six-months. (Full-time jobs declined by -3.6k, part-time rose +5.9k, private and public sector increased by +39k while self-employed fell-37k).
  • USD:NFP produced a stellar report, sideswiping most analysts expectations. Payrolls increased by +243k, m/m, allowing the unemployment rate to ease two-ticks to +8.3%. The breakdown saw manufacturing gain +50k, services +162k and the Government eliminate-14k positions. The hourly income increased +0.2% while the number of hours worked remained unchanged at +34.5.



ASIA Week in FX



  • Rate announcements dominate the week, AUD, GBP and EUR
  • Labor costs and employment changes/claims come to us from NZD and USD
  • CHF and CNY deliver their inflation reports
  • Trade Balance is reported in CNY, CAD and USD
  • Aussies deliver their Retail Sales number
  • CAD presents Ivey PMI and Building Permits
  • We end the week on Consumer Sentiment from the USD


This article is for general information purposes only. It is not investment advice or a solution to buy or sell securities. Opinions are the authors; not necessarily that of OANDA Corporation or any of its affiliates, subsidiaries, officers or directors. Leveraged trading is high risk and not suitable for all. You could lose all of your deposited funds.

Dean Popplewell

Dean Popplewell

Vice-President of Market Analysis at MarketPulse
Dean Popplewell has nearly two decades of experience trading currencies and fixed income instruments. He has a deep understanding of market fundamentals and the impact of global events on capital markets. He is respected among professional traders for his skilled analysis and career history as global head of trading for firms such as Scotia Capital and BMO Nesbitt Burns. Since joining OANDA in 2006, Dean has played an instrumental role in driving awareness of the forex market as an emerging asset class for retail investors, as well as providing expert counsel to a number of internal teams on how to best serve clients and industry stakeholders.
Dean Popplewell