EUR/USD: Trading the US NFP Feb 2014

EUR/USD: Trading the US NFP Feb 2014

US Non-Farm Employment Change measures the change in the number of newly employed people in the US, excluding workers in the farming industry. A reading which is higher than the market forecast is bullish for the dollar.

Here are the details and 5 possible outcomes for EUR/USD.

Published on Friday at 13:30 GMT.

Indicator Background

Job creation is one of the most important leading indicators of overall economic activity.  The release of US Non-Farm  Employment Change  is highly anticipated by the markets, and an unexpected reading could affect the direction of EUR/USD.

In the  December release, Non-Farm Employment Change looked awful, plunging to just 74 thousand, down from 203 thousand a month earlier. The estimate stood at 196 thousand. The markets are expecting a strong turnaround, with a forecast of 184 thousand. With the markets expecting another taper in February, the NFP  release takes on added  significance, as a weak reading could lead to a delay in the timing of the next taper.

Sentiment and Levels

With Eurozone inflation indicators consistently pointing to weak inflation, the danger of deflation is now getting closer to center stage but is not fully priced in. While the ECB is unlikely  the “nuclear option” of a negative deposit rate just now, we could see dovish language from ECB head Mario Draghi and possibly a  trick up his sleeve,  such as a  negative deposit rate in March. A negative deposit rate will likely scare money from the euro-zone and give the US dollar a boost.

In the US, the taper train,  which is dollar positive,  is well on its way and  we can expect  further tapers barring some really bad US numbers.  And the US economy is still growing nicely. So, the overall sentiment is  bearish on EUR/USD towards this release.

Technical levels, from top to bottom: 1.37, 1.3650, 1.3580, 1.3515, 1.3450 and 1.34.

5 Scenarios

  1. Within expectations: 178K to 190K. In such a scenario, the EUR/USD is likely to rise  within  range, with a small chance of breaking higher.
  2. Above expectations: 191K to 200K: An unexpected higher reading could send the pair below one support line.
  3. Well above expectations: Above 200K: The chances of such a scenario are low. Such an outcome could  prop up the pair, and a second support line  could fall as a result.
  4. Below expectations:  168K to 177K: A  weaker reading  than forecast could result in EUR/USD pushing above one line of resistance.
  5. Well below expectations: Below 168K. In this scenario, the pair could move  above a second resistance line.

For more about the euro, see the EUR/USD forecast.

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Kenny Fisher

Kenny Fisher

Kenny Fisher - Senior Writer A native of Toronto, Canada, Kenneth worked for seven years in the marketing and trading departments at Bendix, a foreign exchange company in Toronto. Kenneth is also a lawyer, and has extensive experience as an editor and writer.