All eyes are on US nonfarm payrolls, perhaps the monthly highlight on the economic calendar. An interesting prelude to nonfarm payrolls was the ADP employment report on Wednesday. ADP is not a reliable indicator for the NFP, but it always garners a fair degree of attention, coming just before the nonfarm payrolls release.
The December ADP delivered a massive overperformance, to the tune of 807 thousand new jobs, crushing the forecast of 400 thousand. Such a miss to the upside could not be ignored, prompting Goldman Sachs to revise upwards its estimate for NFP from 450 thousand to 500 thousand. Still, the consensus is around 425 thousand, so unless it falls below 250 thousand or rises above 550 thousand, I don’t expect the markets to react and shake up the US dollar. A weak reading could delay a Fed rate hike and would drive a risk-on mood. Conversely, a strong release would support an earlier Fed hike and would be bullish for the US dollar.
Japan’s consumers hold tight to purse strings
In Japan, consumers cut back on spending in November. Household Spending declined by -1.3% y/y, the first drop in three months. With the economy showing signs of improvement, analysts had projected a 1.2% gain. The negative reading is particularly worrying as consumption fell before the rapid spread of Omicron in December. If consumer spending also fell in December, it will throw a wrench in the government’s plans to kickstart economic growth. The government is pushing companies to raise wages but businesses will be reluctant to do so if consumers hold tight to the purse strings.
The Japanese yen finds itself at 5-year lows against the greenback, courtesy of rising US Treasury yields. The 10-year yield, which finished 2021 above the 1.50% level, hasn’t missed a beat in the first week of 2022 and has risen to 1.73%. The widening US/Japan rate differential has been weighing on the yen, which is extremely sensitive to the rate differential. If US yields remain high, we could see USD/JPY break past the 118 mark over the coming weeks.
- USD/JPY continues to put pressure on resistance at 115.78. Above, there is resistance at 116.34
- There is support at 114.54 and 113.98
Content 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 Business Information & Services, Inc. or any of its affiliates, subsidiaries, officers or directors. If you would like to reproduce or redistribute any of the content found on MarketPulse, an award winning forex, commodities and global indices analysis and news site service produced by OANDA Business Information & Services, Inc., please access the RSS feed or contact us at email@example.com. Visit https://www.marketpulse.com/ to find out more about the beat of the global markets. © 2023 OANDA Business Information & Services Inc.