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NFP only 151K, wages disappoint – USD down

Not-so-good jobs report: 151K jobs gained, less than expected and enough for the Fed not to raise rates. Wages are up only 0.1% m/m. The unemployment rate is 4.9%, no change, and also a disappointment. Also no change in the participation rate nor big revisions. A meh report. The economy is doing OK but not going anywhere fast. Expect yet another “on-hold” meeting on September 21st.  

The USD is down across the board but is not collapsing. Is there more to come? Commodity currencies gain most  in the  aftermath. AUD, NZD, CAD and even GBP are on a roll while the yen and the euro cannot really gain.

The Fed is dovish, the elections are coming and the economy is not sizzling hot. No reason to hurry with rates.

More:  Is the NFP still good enough for a September hike? 3 opinions

The US was expected to gain around 180K jobs in August following a healthy 255K in July. Wages were predicted to advance by 0.2% m/m and 2.5% y/y. This publication is critical to the upcoming Fed decision, due to the relatively hawkish tone heard in Jackson Hole last week.  Before the NFP release, ADP came out as expected while the ISM Manufacturing PMI severely disappointed and slightly weakened the dollar.

Just before the announcement, the US dollar was gaining some ground, recovering from yesterday’s slide and  getting closer to levels seen earlier this week.

The critical data and reactions below will be updated.  Scroll down for the live blog.

August NFP Data

  • Non-Farm Payrolls:  151K    (exp. +180K, last 255K before revisions)
  • Average Hourly Earnings 0.1% m/m, 2.4% y/y  (exp. +0.2% m/m, last month +0.3% m/m, 2.6% y/y)
  • Revisions: -1K – very stable.(+18K last time)
  • Participation Rate: 62.8%    (62.8% last month )
  • Unemployment Rate: 4.9%  (exp.4.8%,  last month 4.9% before revisions)
  • Private Sector: 126K – disappointing  (ADP showed stable  +177K).
  • Real Unemployment Rate (U-6): 9.7|%  (previous: 9.7%).
  • Employment to population ratio: 59.7%  (previous: 59.7%)
  • Average  workweek: 34.3 – disappointment  (last month: 34.5).

NFP Currency Reaction – USD is rising

  • EUR/USD traded around 1.1190, around the initial post-Brexit cap. The pair went all the way to 1.1252 but falls to just above 1.12.
  • GBP/USD  was around 1.3270, after positive PMIs. Cable is at 1.3320.
  • USD/JPY traded around 103.40, still at the elevated ground in comparison to the pre-Jackson Hole levels. The pair dropped towards 103 but bounces back to the baseline.
  • USD/CAD was around 1.3090. The Canadian dollar  suffers from lower  oil prices. The pair falls to 1.3020.
  • AUD/USD was around 0.7550, off the lows following mixed Australian data. The Aussie is at 0.7580.
  • NZD/USD jumps back above 0.7320.

Commodity currencies seem to gain most.

NFP Live Blog

Yohay Elam

Yohay Elam

Yohay Elam: Founder, Writer and Editor I have been into forex trading for over 5 years, and I share the experience that I have and the knowledge that I've accumulated. After taking a short course about forex. Like many forex traders, I've earned a significant share of my knowledge the hard way. Macroeconomics, the impact of news on the ever-moving currency markets and trading psychology have always fascinated me. Before founding Forex Crunch, I've worked as a programmer in various hi-tech companies. I have a B. Sc. in Computer Science from Ben Gurion University. Given this background, forex software has a relatively bigger share in the posts.