Markets mixed ahead of US jobs report

Traders cautious after woeful February report

It’s been a mixed start to trading on Friday, as we await the latest jobs report from the US.

US futures are marginally higher but we have lost a little momentum. That may simply be because we’re awaiting the latest labour market data from the US, a report that is arguably the most closely followed each month.

It also comes after a dreadful month of job creation in February when only 20,000 were added, although the data has been very inconsistent since the shutdown and another revision may come today.

Broadly speaking the labour market remains very strong and the economy, while slowing, is very healthy. With unemployment running at only 3.8% and wages rising at 3.4% annually, there’s clearly nothing to worry about just yet.

US Unemployment Rate

That said, the US is not immune from the global slowdown and investors will only accept weak job growth for so long. It will be interesting to see what happens today if we get another bad reading, especially if it isn’t accompanied by a big revision to the February number. The market is not expecting this though, with around 180,000 forecast.

The greatest threat to the economic outlook remains the trade war between the US and China. While we have seen clear progress in recent months, the last part of the negotiation is expected to be the most difficult and drawn out. Trump remains optimistic about a deal but less confident about the timing.

Economic Calendar

 

For a look at all of today’s economic events, check out our economic calendar.

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.

Craig Erlam

Craig Erlam

Senior Currency Analyst at OANDA
Based in London, England, Craig Erlam joined OANDA in 2015 as a Market Analyst. With more than five years' experience as a financial market analyst and trader, he focuses on both fundamental and technical analysis while conducting macroeconomic commentary. He has been published by The Financial Times, Reuters, the Wall Street Journal and The Telegraph, and he also appears regularly as a guest commentator on networks including Sky News, Bloomberg, CNBC and BBC. Craig holds a full membership to the Society of Technical Analysts and he is recognized as a Certified Financial Technician by the International Federation of Technical Analysts.