Strong Dollar Awaits Jobs Report to Validate Further Fed Hikes


The U.S. dollar is mixed against major pairs on Friday. The dollar gained against the JPY, EUR, GBP and CHF but depreciated against the commodity pairs (CAD, AUD and NZD).

Fundamental data in the U.S. supported the dollar: the Fed delivered its anticipated third rate hike of 2018, the final GDP for the second quarter was 4.2 percent. Fed Chair Powell’s speech and press conference after the FOMC was a big factor in the rise of the dollar after the market had already priced in the 25 basis points lift to interest rates. Mr Powell will speak next week on Tuesday, October 2nd on the topic of employment and inflation. This will officially kick off jobs week in the U.S.

The main event will be the release of the biggest economic indicator on Friday, October 5 at 8:30 am when the U.S. nonfarm payrolls (NFP) is published.

·       U.S. manufacturing and service PMIs could signal growth slowdown

·       U.K. leading indicators expected to remain flat

·       U.S. NFP report to show economy added 190,000 jobs

Euro Hit by Political Turmoil and Inflation Softness

The EUR/USD lost 0.26 percent on Friday. The single currency is trading at 1.1610 and accumulated 1.16 percent in losses during the week. A higher than predicted Italian budget for 2019 at 2.4 percent and softer core inflation in the eurozone put downward pressure on the currency.

European stock markets were hit by the news as political turmoil once again threatens the European Union.

The other shoe dropped when inflation slowed down in the Eurozone in the same week that the U.S. Federal Reserve hiked rates and was optimistic about economic growth in the U.S.

The monetary policy divergence between the Fed and other major central banks was clear this week as fundamentals back the U.S. policy makers, while questions remain on how effective other policy makers around the world have been.

Loonie Rises as GDP Data Validates October Rate Hike

The Canadian dollar rose on Friday after the monthly gross domestic product (GDP) beat the forecast with a 0.2 percent gain. The loonie is up almost 1 percent on the final day of the trading week. The currency is still showing a weekly loss against the greenback as NAFTA uncertainty and the U.S. Federal Reserve rate announcement put downward pressure.

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The rise today comes with higher expectations of a Canadian interest rate lift in October. The Bank of Canada held rates in September ahead of a highly anticipated Fed rate hike in September that came to pass. The U.S. central bank has forecasted another rate hike in 2018 and 2 or 3 more next year as part of its economic projections published Wednesday.

Bank of Canada Governor Stephen Poloz spoke on Thursday addressing the rising inflation and Friday’s GDP data point puts a rate hike firmly on the table in the short term.

NAFTA negotiations have not made big inroads as the U.S. met with Canada with the goal of turning two bilateral agreements into a trilateral one.

With a considerable amount of work still to be done in bridging the gap between U.S. and Canada, the U.S.-Mexico agreement will be published tonight with a possibility of leaving the door open for Canada to join.

It is that possibility that has kept the loonie gaining despite the NAFTA train moving without Canada.

Crude Surges as Supply Concerns Push Prices to four-Year Highs

Oil prices surged on Friday as supply concerns took crude to four-year highs. The news that China is cutting back on Iranian oil purchases triggered a rally where Brent and WTI had a 1.40 percent one-day gain. Brent is on track to a 5.34 percent gain during the week with WTI clocking in at 3.66 percent.

The U.S. sanctions against Iran don’t kick into effect until November, but the harsh penalties threatened against those who do have made Iranian crude purchases drop.

China’s Sinopec Corp is slashing its loadings in half to avoid the wrath of Washington. In August Sinopec planned to offer Tehran a lifeline by circumventing the sanctions as it reduced U.S. oil purchases due to the rising trade turmoil between the U.S. and China.

The decision by the Chinese state owned energy company will deal a huge blow to Iran as China is its biggest customer.

The shortfall from Iranian crude sales does not have a short term solution after U.S. Energy Secretary Rick Perry said earlier this week that the U.S. would not tap into its emergency crude reserves to bring prices down.

U.S. President Donald Trump had implied during his UN General Assembly speech that unless OPEC increased production levels, the U.S. would utilize its position as the largest energy producer in the world.

Gold Gains But U.S. Dollar to Limit Recovery

Gold rose 0.67 percent on Friday but the strength of the U.S. dollar after the U.S. Federal Reserve lifted interest rates this week proved to be too much for the yellow metal that will end up losing 0.49 percent on a weekly basis.

The Fed raised the benchmark rate by 25 basis points and the futures market is pricing in a 78.5 percent probability of a lift in December. Market participants will look ahead at next week’s manufacturing and service PMIs for more guidance as the U.S. economy continues to grow. Friday’s U.S. NFP will be the final test of the yellow metal.

The U.S. is expected to add 190,000 jobs with average hourly earning rising 0.3 percent. Higher inflation expectations validate the Fed’s forecasts and the market is pricing in a rate hike in December and follow-ups in 2019.

Market events to watch this week:

Monday, October 1
4:30am GBP Manufacturing PMI
10:00am USD ISM Manufacturing PMI

Tuesday, October 2
12:30am AUD Cash Rate
12:30am AUD RBA Rate Statement
4:30am GBP Construction PMI
12:45pm USD Fed Chair Powell Speaks

Wednesday, October 3
4:30am GBP Services PMI
8:15am USD ADP Non-Farm Employment Change
10:00am USD ISM Non-Manufacturing PMI
10:30am USD Crude Oil Inventories

Thursday, October 4
9:30pm AUD Retail Sales m/m

Friday, October 5
8:30am CAD Employment Change
8:30am CAD Trade Balance
8:30am USD Average Hourly Earnings m/m
8:30am USD Non-Farm Employment Change

*All times EDT
For a complete list of scheduled events in the forex market visit the MarketPulse Economic Calendar