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US Dollar Eyes Jobs Data, May Struggle Absent Wage Growth Pickup

US Dollar Eyes Jobs Data, May Struggle Absent Wage Growth Pickup

Talking Points:

  • US Dollar may rise as July’s employment statistics top expectations
  • Lasting upside follow-through unlikely without wage inflation pickup
  • What will drive longer-term G10 FX trends? See our forecasts here

A thin offering of second-tier European economic data may be no more than an afterthought for investors focused on July’s US employment data. The data is expected to show the economy added 180k jobs last month, marking a slight slowdown from the 222k gain recorded in June.

The headline unemployment rate is expected return to a 16-year low of 4.3 percent. On-year average hourly earnings growth – a measure of wage inflation and a key input in the Fed’s monetary policy calculus – is seen pulling back to 2.4 percent, matching the 15-month low set in May.

US data news-flow has broadly improved relative to median projections since mid-June. This hints that analysts’ models are underestimating the economy’s vigor, opening the door for upside surprises. Such outcomes may increase the chance of another rate hike this year.

As it stands, traders put the probability of a third pre-2018 rate increase at 37.4 percent. That creates ample room for a rosier result to alter the markets’ baseline outlook, boosting the US Dollar. Whether or not such a move has follow-through seems likely to depend on the report’s internals.

The Fed has arguably delivered on the “maximum employment” component of its dual mandate; it is inflation has proved elusive. With that in mind, stronger payrolls growth and/or a lower jobless rate may not offer lasting support to the greenback without an improvement in wage growth.

The Australian Dollar outperformed in otherwise quiet Asian trade, bolstered by better-than-expected retail sales data. Receipts added 0.3 percent in June, topping bets on a 0.2 percent increase. The currency rose alongside local bond yields, hinting the data triggered a supportive shift in the RBA policy outlook.

Retail traders expect the US Dollar to rise. Find out here what this hints about coming price moves!

Asia Session

European Session

** All times listed in GMT. See the full DailyFX economic calendar here.

--- Written by Ilya Spivak, Currency Strategist for

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DailyFX provides forex news and technical analysis on the trends that influence the global currency markets.