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USD keeps falling, gold soars, oil stumbles, indices mixed as traders await payrolls

USD keeps falling, gold soars, oil stumbles, indices mixed as traders await payrolls

It’s been a day of crosscurrents in world market that created significant intraday swings as traders prepare for a big end to a big week for trading. USD which saw the bottom fall out from under it on Wednesday continued to slide on Thursday after Fed Governor Brainard and Dallas Fed President Kaplan added to the growing commentary from Fed members suggesting a more cautious approach to further rate hikes due to spillover risks from higher market volatility. The crumbling USD continued to take the pressure off of currencies that its rally of the last year had depressed including AUD, CAD, EUR and others. Gold continues to take particular advantage of the USD downturn, rallying through $1,150. GBP was particularly active today. For the most part it lagged other majors even USD after a very dovish Bank of England decision that saw its lone hawkish dissenter run up the white flag followed by a dovish inflation report that included cuts to GDP and inflation forecasts and an indication that UK rate liftoff is not expected until mid-2017. While mostly dovish in tone, Governor Carney did indicate that all of the MPC expects its next move to be a rate increase in what looks like an attempt to quash speculation that the Bank could be preparing for another rate cut and shore up support for Sterling. It appears that Governor Carney wants to stay well clear of the Brexit debate by not changing rates and allowing the currency to plunge or soar too much could create another set of unwanted problems. Indices had a mixed trading day but finished on an upbeat note. It looks like traders didn’t want to do too much ahead of tomorrow’s US and Canada employment reports. Crude oil stumbled a bit more than most markets but it had also gone up more on Wednesday. Brent failed to hold above $35, a sign it maybe has gone up too much too soon, but WTI held $30, a sign of continued underlying support. Tomorrow brings some of the biggest announcements of the week. Although there isn’t a FOMC meeting this month, recent speculation on what the Fed may do in March has had such a big impact on USD trading this week, nonfarm payrolls could still attract a lot of attention from traders. The report may give an indication of whether the recent volatility has had any impact on the broader US economy (unlikely IMO) and could influence Fed thinking. Comments this week from FOMC permanent voters Dudley and Brainard plus Dallas Fed President Kaplan a non-voter this year all suggested that overseas developments may impact the US economy and that the Fed needs more time to consider actions, backing away from the 4 hike party line of early January. ADP payrolls came in at 205 K a bit above expectations with a moderate upward revision to last month. Having been caught out as too bearish last month, and considering the big increase in Chicago PMI and better winter overall this year, I’m thinking a bit above street at 225K with the potential for a small downward revision to last month’s strong 292K result. For Canada, the street is expecting a 6K increase after a 22K jump last month. I think we’ll see a retrenchment in part-time and a bounce in full-time with the new year for a 15K increase overall. Another big gains for mining stocks like Freeport and Newmont in the US plus First Quantum and Barrick Gold in Canada suggests we could see continued interest in Australian miners today. The S&P/ASX and AUD may also attract attention around today’s construction PMI and retail sales reports and RBA comments on monetary policy. It will be interesting to see if they try to talk down the dollar in light of its recent rebound. Late in the day, USD has started to rebound a bit on comments from Cleveland Fed President Mester who indicated her economic forecasts haven’t changed and that the US economy will work its way through current turbulence, echoing comments from Kansas City Fed President George earlier in the week. With two factions emerging, the March Fed meeting could be a contentious one which could keep markets active for some time. Corporate News Symantec $0.26 vs street $0.24, $500M strategic investment from Silver Lake, $4.00 per share special dividend Economic News Significant announcements released overnight include: UK BoE interest rate 0.50% no change as expected, 9-0 vote vs 8-1 previously UK BoE QE target £375B no change expected, 9-0 vote UK Halifax house prices 9.7% vs street 9.0% UK Bank of England inflation report: Expectation of first rate hike pushed out to mid-2017 from recent consensus of mid-2016 2016 interest rate cut to 0.5% from 0.7% (is no increase expected this year) 2017 interest rate cut to 0.8% from 1.1% (3 hikes to 1 maybe 2 max) 2018 inteerst rate 1.1% 2016 GDP cut to 2/2% from 2.5% 2017 GDP cut to 2.4% from 2.7% 2016 inflation cut to 1.1% from 1.5% 2016 unemployment 4.8% US jobless claims 285K vs street 277K US factory orders (2.9%) vs street (2.8%) US durable goods final (5.0% vs street (4.5%) and previous (5.1%) US natural gas (152 BCF) vs street (150 BCF) Upcoming significant economic announcements include: (Note: 11:30 am in Sydney/Melbourne is currently 1:30 pm in Auckland, 4:30 pm in Vancouver, 7:30 pm in Toronto/Montréal, 12:30 am in London and 8:30 am in Singapore) 9:30 am AEDT Australia construction PMI previous 46.8 11:30 am AEDT Australia retail sales street 0.4% 11:30 am AEDT Australia RBA monetary policy statement 4:00 pm AEDT Japan leading index street 102.7 7:00 am GMT Germany factory orders street (1.4%) 8:30 am GMT Sweden industrial production street 3.5% 9:00 am GMT Norway industrial production previous (1.8%) 8:30 am EST US nonfarm payrolls street 190K vs previous 292K 8:30 am EST US private payrolls street 180K vs previous 275K 8:30 am EST US unemployment rate street 5.0% 8:30 am EST US participation rate previous 62.6% 8:30 am EST US average hourly earnings street 2.2% vs previous 2.5% 8:30 am EST Canada employment net change street 6K vs previous 22K 8:30 am EST Canada full-time jobs previous (6K) 8:30 am EST Canada part-time jobs previous 29K 8:30 am EST Canada unemployment rate street 7.1% 8:30 am EST Canada trade balance street ($2.2B) 8:30 am EST US trade balance street ($43.2B) 10:00 am EST Canada Ivey PMI street 49.5 vs previous 49.9 1:00 pm EST US Baker Hughes drill rig count previous 619

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