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Preview for NFPs and Trade Setups in USD-pairs

Preview for NFPs and Trade Setups in USD-pairs

2015-03-06 11:45:00
Christopher Vecchio, CFA, Senior Strategist

Talking Points:

- EURUSD momentum firmly lower, in 'sell the rally' mode.

- USDCAD breakout requires patience - in either direction.

- See the DailyFX Economic Calendar for Friday, March 6, 2015.

The recent swell of volatility will reach its stunning conclusion for the week today at 08:30 EST/12:30 GMT, when arguably the most important data release for FX markets hits the wires: the US labor market report. The February Nonfarm Payrolls reading is due to show a slight slowdown in growth momentum from prior months (private payrolls due at 225K, from 320K in December and 267K in January), but that shouldn't deter market participants from retaining a bullish bias on the US Dollar.

Much ado has been made about the timing of the Fed's first rate hike, and after Fed Chair Yellen's testimony at the Humphrey-Hawkins committee, it looks like the removal of the phrase "patient" won't be on the doorstep of a 25-bps move. Instead, with a buffering period anticipated, market expectations seem focusing on the possibility of a September 2016 rate liftoff.

As long as headline jobs growth comes in >+200K, traders may treat the data as 'good enough' and instead focus on two other figures: the unemployment rate; and average hourly earnings (wage growth). The unemployment rate is due to move lower by -0.1% to 5.6%, the post-recession low, while AHE are due at +2.1% y/y from +2.2% y/y in January.

These data contain the juice of the report. A move to fresh cycle lows in the unemployment rate (5.5% or lower) or AHE above +2.2% y/y would suggest slack in the labor market is quickly diminishing, underscoring the notion that the Fed would need to raise rates sooner rather than later, and would ultimately prove to be the best source for continuation higher by the US Dollar. Otherwise, misses in these figures, while perhaps retrospectively attributed to inclement weather that gripped the Midwest and Northeast for the past month, could feed into the seemingly forgotten narrative that US economic data has disappointed (CESIUSD at -55.0, worst since July 2012).

See the above video for technical considerations in EURUSD, GBPUSD, and USDCAD.

Read more: Trade Setups in EUR-crosses and Expectations for ECB Meeting

--- Written by Christopher Vecchio, Currency Strategist

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