From JPM: "January employment report did little to shed any light on the true state of the labor market." JPM sees general softness and weather effects in the report.
Some buying interest has begun to surface in the broader market. That has the S&P 500 at its highest level in about three hours. As for the Nasdaq, it has climbed to a session high, where it sports a solid gain. The Nasdaq continues to be helped by tech stocks (+0.6%), namely semiconductor issues (+1.8%).
The dollar advanced for a third day against the euro and yen in the longest stretch of gains in four weeks after the U.S. jobless rate fell to the lowest level since April 2009 even as winter storms limited gains in payrolls.
“As the focus shifted to the unemployment rate instead of the headline nonfarm payrolls, we saw euro-dollar breaking lower,” said Mary Nicola, a currency strategist at BNP Paribas SA.
U.S. unemployment unexpectedly dropped to 9% last month from 9.4% in December, the Labor Department said today. Employers added 36,000 workers, the smallest gain in four months, after a 121,000 rise that was larger than initially reported.
Canada’s currency touched a two-year high versus the dollar as the nation’s employment rose more than four times economists’ forecasts.
Statistics Canada reported that employment rose by 69,200, compared with the median forecast of 15,000 in a survey of economists. The jobless rate rose to 7.8% from 7.6%. Full-time employment rose by 31,100 in January, and part-time jobs increased by 38,000.
The Canadian employment report restores the nation’s status as having regained all the jobs lost in the recession. A Jan. 28 revision based on updated census data reduced Statistics Canada’s estimate of total employment.
The euro was poised for a weekly decrease of 0.1% versus the dollar as European Union leaders met in Brussels to try to narrow differences on ending the region’s debt crisis.
Germany and France are at odds over possible bond buybacks and a “competitiveness pact,” which is German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s condition for strengthening the safety net for debt-strapped countries.
The euro fell 1.3% yesterday, the most since November, as European Central Bank President Jean-Claude Trichet said inflation has been prompted “mainly” by rising energy and commodity costs, dimming prospects for a boost in the target lending rate from a record low 1%.
Fed Chairman Ben S. Bernanke said yesterday that the U.S. needs to see faster job growth for a sufficient time before policy makers can be assured the economic recovery has taken hold.
Current price: Y82.39
Comments: Rate broke above the upper bound of the channel from Jun 01 at Chf0.9550 (support now) and printed high on Chf0.9590 (38.2% Fibo of Chf1.0070 - Chf0.9300 decline). Stronger resistance comes at Chf0.9680 (50%) and Chf0.9780 (Jan 11 high). Minor support is near Chf0.9460, below - at Chf0.9390/00 (Feb 03 hourly lows), then - at Chf0.9330 (Feb 02 low).
Resistance 3: $1.6450
Current price: $1.6086
Support 1: $1.6030
Support 3: $1.5920
Comments: Rate tries to recover with resistance is around $1.6150 (hourly highs). Above there is a room for a rise up to $1.6275/00 (Nov 04 and Feb 03 highs). Above resistance is near $1.6450 (Jan 19'2010 high). Support comes at session low on $1.6030. Break under widen losses to $1.5980 and then - to $1.5920 (38.2% Fibo of $1.5340-$1.6280 move).
EUR/USD tries to recover after weakened to fresh lows around $1.3545. Dollar gaining lift from US yields. Area below $1.3540 said to hold a few stops but bids seen into the 100d ma around $1.3525, stops on a break.
The dollar index is trading near session highs, but this is only weighing on select commodities as half of the commodities in the CRB Commodity Index are higher. Most commodity segments are mixed this morning such as soft, energy, industrial, grains and livestock.
Stocks have recovered from an early slip. The S&P 500 and the Dow are now flat, but the Nasdaq is actually up to a modest gain. The Nasdaq is currently led by large-cap tech issues like Apple (AAPL 346.25, +2.84) and Research In Motion (RIMM 64.28, +1.61).
Dow Jones industrial average (INDU), S&P 500 (SPX) and Nasdaq (COMP) futures were little changed ahead of the market open. Futures measure current index values against perceived future performance.
They say; "Wintry weather has resulted in unusually choppy data in January and we expect the weather to also affect the January payrolls. Our US economists forecast a +80k rise in headline payrolls, well below the consensus of +143k. If payrolls do disappoint expect some dollar downside."
The dollar held onto two days of gains versus the euro before a government report that economists said will show U.S. employers added the most jobs in three months in January.
U.S. nonfarm payrolls probably increased by 146,000 in January after climbing by 103,000 the previous month, as jobless rate rose to 9.5% from 9.4$, survey showed.
The Institute for Supply Management’s index of U.S. non- manufacturing businesses released yesterday showed service industries expanded in January at the fastest pace since August 2005, indicating the economic recovery is broadening.
“The U.S. economy is picking up and starting to show some pretty consistent signs of recovery, which could spill over to jobs,” said Greg Gibbs, a currency strategist at Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc in Sydney. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke “boils it all down to employment, so a strong employment report would be quite important for the dollar.”
The euro headed for a weekly loss against most of its major counterparts as European Union leaders prepared to meet today in Brussels to discuss the region’s debt crisis and traders cut bets on the outlook for interest-rate increases.
The euro headed for a second weekly decline versus the yen before EU leaders meet today to try to narrow differences on a strategy to end the region’s financial crisis. Germany on Feb. 2 ruled out allowing the region’s bailout facility to fund bond buybacks from debt-strapped governments.
“The euro is a sell on the rally at this stage,” said Alex Sinton, a senior dealer in Auckland at ANZ National Bank Ltd. “The market’s got to be wary overall because the economic and debt situation behind the euro is still poor.”
European Central Bank President Jean-Claude Trichet said yesterday that inflation risks are “broadly balanced,” dimming the prospect of an increase in rates. Australia’s currency strengthened to a one-month high versus the greenback after the central bank lifted its growth and inflation forecasts in a quarterly report today.
EUR/USD: traded within $1.3615-$1.3640 range.
The main event comes with the US labor market data at 1330GMT. Non-farm payrolls are expected to increase by 136,000 in January following the 103,000 gain in December, with annual revisions due with this month's data. Private payrolls are seen up 165,000, while the unemployment rate is forecast to increase to 9.5% after the 0.4 point drop in December to 9.4%. Hourly earnings are expected to post a 0.2% increase, while the average workweek is forecast to remain unchanged at 34.3 hours in January.
Jan unemployment 7.8% (Dec 7.6%)
Edging lower through the $1.6122 low of yesterday with sales from a major NY bank leading the pair to a low on the day of $1.6110. Further hourly support seen towards $1.6080/85 and $1.6035/40.
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