Search ForexCrunch

US Non-Farm Payrolls disappointed with only 169K. They were expected rise by around 180K in August 2013 and expectations could have been even higher. July saw a gain of 104K  according to the revisions – this is a nasty revision from 162K. The unemployment rate dropped to 7.3%. It was expected to remain unchanged at 7.4% but it comes on top of a plunge in the participation rate. NFP is always important, but this publication is even more important as it is seen as critical to the decision on QE tapering on September 18th.

Leading to the publication, the dollar was stronger against the euro and and the pound, and somewhat weaker against other currencies. The dollar is lower but not going too far.

The Data

  • Non-Farm Payrolls:  +169K, worse than expected
  • Participation Rate: 63.2%  (63.4% last month)
  • Unemployment Rate:  7.3%, better than expected  (last month 7.4% before revisions)
  • Revisions:  – -74K. July revised down from 162K to 104K, June from 188K to 172K.  Last month saw a small drop of 26K.
  • Private Sector NFP:  152K  (ADP showed a gain of 176K)..
  • Real Unemployment Rate (U-6):  13.7%  (previous: 14.0%).
  • Employment to population ratio: 58.6  (previous: 58.7%)
  • Average Hourly Earnings:  -+0.2% as expected(last month: -0.1%).
  • Average  workweek:  34.5  (Last month:  34.4 hours).

Market Reaction and Analysis

Analysis:

  • Before / After / Comments
  • EUR/USD 1.3120 /1.3175 – exactly at resistance and now falling. Draghi’s words still weigh on the euro, and so do weak German numbers.
  • GBP/USD 1.5575 /1.5630 – The pound was well positioned to the event.
  • USD/JPY 99.68 /98.80 – the failure to conquer 100 was a hint for the big fall. The tensions around Syria boost the safe haven yen.
  • AUD/USD 0.9160 /0.9220 / The Aussie didn’t follow through. The break of downtrend resistance seems false.
  • NZD/USD 0.7937 /0.8010 = The kiwi has other reasons to rise.
  • USD/CAD 1.0443 /1.04 – Canada posted an excellent jobs report.
  • USD/CHF 0.9437 /0.9410

 

Background

Expectations were elevated towards the publication: ADP showed a solid gain of 176K private sector jobs, jobless claims fell to the lows of 323K and most importantly: the services sector showed a lot of strength: a headline figure of 58.6 reflecting strong growth and an accompanying strong employment component. This is the biggest sector in the US.

The Fed convenes on September 18th and is expected to announce the tapering of bond buys from the current pace of $85 billion / month to something like $70 billion.

Further reading:  US Jobs Number could be decisive for Fed tapering