A welcome US jobs report

Investors appear relatively pleased with the jobs report despite some initial choppy trade following the release.

Nonfarm payrolls nudges above forecast

The headline NFP figure was a little larger than expected at 315,000 which may have created that initial unease as a knockout report could have effectively paved the way for a 75 basis point rate hike this month. But once you dig a little deeper, there are aspects of the report that will please the Fed and support the case for easing off the brake.

While we can’t put too much weight on one report, a surprise spike in participation from 62.1% to 62.4% will undoubtedly be welcomed, lifting unemployment to 3.7% from 3.5% along with it. As will hourly earnings rising by 5.2% against expectations of a small increase to 5.3%.

All of this will be a relief to policymakers but I’m not sure it will be enough to change their minds at this point. There’s been such an effort to put 75 basis points on the table in recent weeks, to change their mind on the back of this would seriously undermine their guidance in future. If paired with another decent drop in inflation in a couple of weeks, more may be convinced.

We’re seeing some relief in equity markets after what has been a pretty dire week until now. US futures have added half a percent since the release while the dollar and US yields are slightly lower, albeit after some very choppy trade initially.

Gold is breathing a huge sigh of relief, up around 0.75% on the day, with $1,680 support potentially safe for now. This is a really significant area of support for the yellow metal and while it didn’t get too close on this occasion, a move below could see gold trading at two-year lows which could be a major blow.

Bitcoin is another instrument that is displaying some relief having spent the week desperately defending $20,000 support. The report isn’t enough in itself to overly excite traders, not even the crypto crowd I would have thought, but it could reinforce that support which is important. A break of $20,000 could be painful for bitcoin and today’s data may enable it to hold above here for a while longer yet.

For a look at all of today’s economic events, check out our economic calendar: www.marketpulse.com/economic-events/

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 Market Analyst, UK & EMEA at OANDA
Based in London, Craig Erlam joined OANDA in 2015 as a market analyst. With many years of experience as a financial market analyst and trader, he focuses on both fundamental and technical analysis while producing macroeconomic commentary. His views have been published in the Financial Times, Reuters, The Telegraph and the International Business Times, and he also appears as a regular guest commentator on the BBC, Bloomberg TV, FOX Business and SKY News. Craig holds a full membership to the Society of Technical Analysts and is recognised as a Certified Financial Technician by the International Federation of Technical Analysts.
Craig Erlam
Craig Erlam

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