Dollar trades mildly higher in Asian session today but remains the second weakest major currency for the week, next to Sterling. Main focus is turning to employment data from US. Markets are expecting non-farm payroll report to show 175k growth in January while unemployment rate would be unchanged at 4.7%. Average hourly earnings are expected to grow 0.3% mom. Looking at other employment related data, ADP report showed 246k growth in January, much stronger than December’s 151k. Four week moving average of initial jobless claims dropped 10k to 248k during the period. Employment component of ISM manufacturing surged to 56.1, up from 52.8. Conference board consumer confidence, however, dropped to 111.8, down from 113.3. Overall, other employment data points to a strong NFP report today. But the question is, based on current market sentiment, it’s unsure if Dollar will respond positively to a set of good numbers.

Yesterday, BOE voted unanimously (9-0) to leave the Bank rate unchanged at 0.25% and the asset purchases program at 435B pound for UK gilts and 10B pound for non-financial GBP investment-grade corporate bonds. The members revised the growth forecasts significantly higher but left the inflation outlook largely unchanged. The latter was mainly due to the judgment that the labor slack was more than previously expected. Despite stronger growth outlook, Governor Mark Carney warned of the uncertainty over Brexit, cautioning that "there will be twists and turns along the way". While he reiterated that "we can see scenarios in either direction" for policy, we expect BOE to leave the monetary policy and the QE program unchanged at least in the first half of the year. More in BOE Upgrades Growth Outlook; Yet, Unemployment Slack More than Previously Expected.

From China, Caixin PMI manufacturing dropped to 51.0 in January, down from 51.9 and missed expectation of 51.8. Caixin noted in the release that "The rate of improvement slowed since December, as output and new orders increased at weaker rates amid a further reduction in employment. And, "the Chinese economy maintained stable growth in January. But the sub-indices showed that the current growth momentum may be hard to sustain. We must remain wary of downward pressures on the economy this year."

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Looking ahead, UK services PMI is the main feature in European session. Eurozone will release services PMI revision and retail sales. US will release non-farm payroll report, ISM non-manufacturing and factory orders.

USD/JPY Daily Outlook

Daily Pivots: (S1) 112.11; (P) 112.73; (R1) 113.42; More…

USD/JPY lost some downside momentum as 4 hours MACD crossed above signal line and intraday bias is turned neutral first. Choppy fall from 118.65 is seen as a corrective move. In case of another decline, we’d expect strong support from 38.2% retracement of 98.97 to 118.65 at 111.13 to contain downside an bring rebound. On the upside, above 115.36 resistance will argue that such correction is finished and turn bias to the upside for 118.65. Break will resume whole rise from 98.97 and target 125.85 key resistance.

In the bigger picture, price actions from 125.85 high are seen as a corrective pattern. The impulsive structure of the rise from 98.97 suggests that the correction is completed and larger up trend is resuming. Decisive break of 125.85 will confirm and target 61.8% projection of 75.56 to 125.85 from 98.97 at 130.04 and then 135.20 long term resistance. Rejection from 125.85 and below will extend the consolidation with another falling leg before up trend resumption.

Economic Indicators Update

GMT Ccy Events Actual Consensus Previous Revised
1:45 CNY Caixin PMI Manufacturing Jan 51 51.8 51.9
8:45 EUR Italy Services PMI Jan 52.6 52.3
8:50 EUR France Services PMI Jan F 53.9 53.9
8:55 EUR Germany Services PMI Jan F 53.2 53.2
9:00 EUR Eurozone Services PMI Jan F 53.6 53.6
9:30 GBP Services PMI Jan 55.8 56.2
10:00 EUR Eurozone Retail Sales M/M Dec 0.30% -0.40%
13:30 USD Change in Non-farm Payrolls Jan 175k 156k
13:30 USD Unemployment Rate Jan 4.70% 4.70%
13:30 USD Average Hourly Earnings M/M Jan 0.30% 0.40%
15:00 USD ISM Non-Manufacutring Composite Jan 57 57.2
15:00 USD Factory Orders Dec 1.00% -2.40%

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