FX Breakout Monitor: USD firm after mixed US jobs report
Head of FX Strategy
Summary: An interesting setup ahead of next week as the USD stays firm near interesting breakout levels into the end of the week after a mixed US jobs report. Sterling also possibly poised for a break if it becomes clear next week that a long further Brexit decision delay awaits.
The US jobs report didn’t provide any unambiguous signals. On the positive side was the strong bounce-back in payrolls in March (+196k and a +14k revision of prior two months versus expectations of circa +175k) from the very weak February drop-out print of +20k. But a very weak +0.1% month-on-month rise in average hourly earnings has inflation watchers yawning and the participation rate dropping back -0.2% spoils the interesting bounce in that measure in February. All in all, the report keeps the Fed very “patient” and benign, while not showing the kind of weakness that points to a growth slowdown.
Page 1: We’re still close to that EURUSD perma-range downside breakout level – seeing is believing there. Elsewhere we note the NZDUSD and GBPUSD pairs for possible significant breaks if USD strength prevails, the former charted below.
Gold and silver still suffering near breakout levels as yields rise (although as of this writing they have pushed back lower after two-way post-US jobs report action) and risk appetite is strong, but haven’t quite punched through to the downside – also worth watching early next week.
An almost too-well defined range in NZDUSD as we await a USD direction. Will we get any notable USD/Asia or USD/Antipodean action until we see the US-China trade deal announcement, possibly not for many more weeks? In any case, early next week, we will keep an eye on the 200-day moving average and range low here in NZDUSD and note that much of it is being driven by NZD weakness more than USD strength locally – as we noted earlier today, the kiwi now has turned the corner to the downside versus the AUD after the extension of AUDNZD above 1.0500.