The US non-farm payrolls report came in line with market expectations of a 223K gain, allowing the jobless rate to drop from 5.5% to 5.4% in April. However, the previous data was revised to show a mere 85K increase in hiring, down from the initially reported 126K gain. Average hourly earnings also fell short of expectations as it showed a 0.1% uptick instead of the projected 0.2% gain. Nonetheless, underlying labor indicators such as the participation rate and the underemployment rate reflected sustained improvements and was enough to reassure market watchers that the Fed’s rate hike bias will be maintained.
The euro continued to slide against the dollar but managed to sustain its climb against its other FX trading counterparts on Friday. Data from the euro zone came in mostly weaker than expected, as Germany’s industrial production report and trade balance both fell short of consensus. Italy’s industrial production report showed a 0.4% gain, stronger than the projected 0.3% gain, while the previous month’s reading was upgraded to 0.7%. Eurogroup meetings will take place today and positive expectations for the Greek debt talks could keep the shared currency afloat.
FX Trading News
The pound paused from its post-election rally on Friday when traders closed off FX trading positions ahead of today’s BOE interest rate statement. No actual changes are expected but BOE Governor Carney is set to maintain his upbeat tone and talk of potential tightening moves. Halifax HPI from the UK last Friday posted strong gains of 1.6% versus the estimated 0.3% uptick.
The franc gave up its FX trading gains to the dollar after the release of the NFP report, as Swiss CPI fell short of expectations. The report indicated a 0.2% monthly decline in price levels versus estimates of a 0.1% uptick. There are no reports lined up from the Swiss economy today.
The yen gave up ground to the dollar but managed to hold on to its wins against its other FX trading rivals, despite the lack of top-tier data from Japan on Friday. There are still no reports due from the Japanese economy today, leaving risk sentiment in the driver’s seat of yen pairs’ price action.
The comdolls were still in a weak spot last Friday, especially after the NFP release renewed demand for the dollar. In Canada, hiring data was weaker than expected as the economy lost 19.7K jobs in April versus expectations of a 4.5K decline while the jobless rate held steady at 6.8%. Over the weekend, China printed a weaker than expected CPI reading and announced a surprise interest rate cut – its third one so far this year. No major reports are due from the comdolls today.
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