US jobs back in focus after weak finish yesterday
00:00, October 02nd 2015
· By Simone Tang
After the strong rebound seen on Wednesday expectations were reasonably high that yesterday might carry on in the same vein and initially we did see a decent rebound.
It didn’t take long though for all the old concerns to resurface, and the markets started to slide back like air hissing out of slowly deflating tyre with a nail stuck in it, as oil prices, after initially rising sharply early on, fell back later in the day, dragging stock markets down with it.
While markets initially took the positives out of the fact that the Chinese data didn’t get any worse, the fact that the data from Europe also came in weaker than expected as well as the US, has raised concerns that the forthcoming earnings season could well be a disappointment, given how the US dollar continues to show no signs of weakening.
US economic data continues to confuse and disappoint in equal measure. On the one hand auto sales continue to remain strong coming in much better than expected but manufacturing continues to weaken.
Yesterday’s ISM manufacturing data turned out to be every bit as disappointing as we suspected it might be given how weak the recent manufacturing numbers seen all round the Fed regions had been in the past few days. A reading of 50.2, the lowest level since early 2013, as well as declines in prices, new orders and the employment components and good cheer was pretty thin on the ground.
The biggest concern from the Fed’s point of view is the fact that only 7 out of the 18 industries showed any growth at all. Prices were also down for the eleventh consecutive month which is likely to reinforce deflationary concerns in the overall economy.
The big question is whether this weakness acts as a significant drag on the September payrolls report due later today.
It only seems like yesterday that we were shrugging off the disappointment of the August jobs number and the disappointment that came with a sharp drop to 173k, below expectations of a 225k. If this week’s ADP number is any guide it probably won’t shift the dial that much in the context of whether the Fed will pull the trigger on rates at the end of the month.
We’ve heard from a number of Fed speakers over the past week or so and it is becoming increasingly evident that there is a wide range of views on whether to raise rates in just under four weeks’ time, which means that the FOMC collectively has about as much idea about when to raise rates as the rest of us, which suggests the prospect of an October rate hike will continue to diminish.
The markets will be paying particular attention to any upward revisions to the August number, as well as looking for a reasonably strong rebound for September.
Expectations are for a figure of 200k with the unemployment rate remaining at 5.1%, though the participation rate continues to languish at 37 year lows of 62.6.
More importantly we’ve been hearing that wage pressures are starting to build yet there remains very little sign of that so far appearing. Average hourly earnings are expected to rise to 2.4%, from 2.2%.
Before the US payrolls report we get another snapshot of the UK economy with the latest construction PMI data for September, which is expected to paint a slightly more positive outlook than yesterday’s manufacturing PMI which while slightly better than expected showed that manufacturers were starting to cut jobs for the first time in nearly two years on the back of slowing demand.
Construction PMI is expected to improve modestly to 57.5, from 57.3 with housebuilding expected to continue to remain robust.
EURUSD – the convergence of the 50/100 and 200 day MA should continue to act as support near 1.1140 and as such the potential for a move back towards 1.1400 remains. Only a move below the lows this month at 1.1080 suggests a move back towards 1.0820.
GBPUSD – the inability of the pound to rally raises the prospect of a move towards the 1.5000 level given the continued shallower rallies. A move back above 1.5220 stabilises and argues for a move back towards the 1.5330 area. We need to recover back through the 1.5330 area to stabilise and suggest a return to the 1.5400 area.
EURGBP – the euro slid back yesterday rebounding from the 0.7350 area. A move below this level argues for a move back towards the 0.7320 area and then 0.7240. The May highs at 0.7485 remain a solid resistance above the recent highs at 0.7435.
USDJPY – the price action continues to respect the range of the past few weeks with resistance around the 121.00 area as the price action continues to compress. Trend line support now comes in at the 119.35 area. The US dollar still looks vulnerable to a return to the 116.20 area seen a few weeks ago.
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