Australian Dollar Soars on Jobs Gain, US Dollar and Yen Fall on Stock Rally
Key Overnight Developments
• Australian Dollar Soars as Economy Adds 33.7K Jobs, Topping Forecasts
• Japan’s Current Account Surplus Widens, Merchant Outlook Hits 3-Year High
• US Dollar, Japanese Yen Decline as Stocks Advance in Overnight Trade
The Euro and the British Pound advanced in overnight trade, adding 0.5 and 0.3 percent respectively against the US Dollar as stocks led risky assets higher, sapping demand for the safety-linked greenback. We remain short EURUSD at 1.4881.
Asia Session Highlights
Japan’s Current Account surplus widened to 2534.2 billion yen in March – the largest in two years – as exports continued to rise at a healthy pace, adding 45.4 percent from the previous year. In quarterly terms, this makes the first three months of 2010 the strongest period of overseas sales growth on record since 1986. Separately, April’s Eco Watchers Survey saw merchant sentiment rise to 49.9 – highest in nearly three years – with gains in the outlook for employment over the next 2-3 months leading the way. The outcome suggests the rebound in exports is starting to spill over into an improving labor market, which naturally bodes well for consumption and ultimately overall economic growth. The data did not translate into gains for the Japanese Yen however considering firming conditions are unlikely to translate into rate hikes any time soon amid lingering deflation while stocks led other risky assets pushed higher, boosting demand for carry trades funded in the low-yielding currency.
Australia’s Employment report surprised to the upside to reveal the economy added 33,700 jobs, topping forecasts for a 22,500 increase. Yet more encouraging, all of the gains came from full-time employment, hinting firms are becoming confident enough in their outlook to be comfortable with longer-term increases in labor expenditures. Further still, the previous month’s results were revised meaningfully higher, showing the economy added 27,700 jobs in March versus 19,600 originally reported. The Australian Dollar pushed higher after the figures crossed the wires, adding 0.6 percent against its US counterpart. The boost may not prove lasting however as a Credit Suisse gauge of interest rate expectations shows investors continue to see no chance of a hike in June.
Euro Session: What to Expect
The economic calendar is fairly tame in European hours, with risk sentiment likely to remain the dominant driver of price action. This bodes ill for the anti-risk US Dollar and Japanese Yen against the spectrum of their major counterparts as equity index futures tick broadly higher ahead of the opening bell in Europe.
Scanning scheduled event risk, the European Central Bank is set to release their monthly report, which traders will comb for details on its new policy of “intervention into private and public debt markets” – essentially a form of quantitative easing – that was announced with the EU’s stabilization fund earlier this week. Policymakers have claimed that the program will not amount to monetary easing because its interventions will be “sterilized”, meaning their effects in some segments of the market will be offset in others, but the precise mechanism for how this is going to work remains unclear. Separately, the UK Visible Trade Balance deficit is expected to widen in March after shrinking to the smallest since June 2006 in the previous month.
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