01.02.2019 : Investors worried about US labor market (EUR/USD, USDX, DJIA)
The market is gradually changing its sentiment on the US dollar. Earlier, investors firmly trusted the Federal Reserve. They priced in at least three rounds of monetary tightening in 2019. So, they were robustly buying the US dollar for the most part of 2018. Now investor optimism is fading and the greenback’s spectacular rally is coming to an end.
The US macroeconomic data confirms that the market is taking the right approach. Recently, the US has released downbeat data on the domestic economy. In particular, slower consumer inflation signals that something is going wrong with the domestic economy and the key interest rate is not appropriate to the current economic conditions. In the latest policy guidance, the Federal Reserve acknowledged that the time is ripe to ease a pace of rate hikes. This statement triggered sell-offs of the US dollar.
Experts predicted that tepid US nonfarm payrolls would provide fresh evidence of waning momentum in the US economy. So, they had pessimistic expectations. However, a report from the US Labor Department came as a surprise despite some negative prints. The unemployment rate edged up to 4% in January entirely because of a growing participation rate.
Average hourly earnings slowed down sharply to 0.1% in January on month. The increase in hourly wage over the past 12 months dipped to 3.2% in line with expectations. So, the market was discouraged with this particular data as it is a precursor of further sluggish inflation.
As a result, the euro/dollar pair remained at the same level. The most popular currency pair is drifting upwards to the previous highs. The pair is likely to begin the next week with efforts to break above the level of 1.1500. Today the euro has been weighed down by a report on weak consumer inflation in the eurozone.
Meanwhile, traders are hesitating to sell the US dollar in light of the upbeat US nonfarm payrolls. The US economy added 304,000 new jobs in January. On the minus side, the government slashed its original estimate of new jobs in December to 222,000 from 312,000 in the preliminary survey.
The US dollar index is trading under pressure at near 95.50, closing the week with heavy losses.
The US stocks soared in the first month of the year. The Dow Jones Industrial Average is firmly on path to the elevated level of early December in 2018. Just before Christmas, Donald Trump crushed the US equity market.
The US president appealed to the Federal Reserve to refrain from too fast pace of monetary tightening. The regulator softened its stance on monetary policy, thus enabling US stocks to regain earlier losses.
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