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US Dollar May Fall Even as Jobs Data Shows Improvement

US Dollar May Fall Even as Jobs Data Shows Improvement

Ilya Spivak,

Talking Points:

  • US Dollar may counterintuitively fall on robust employment data
  • Aussie, NZ Dollars fall as risk appetite sours in Asia Pacific trade
  • Yen down after Bank of Japan steps up the pace of bond purchases

The US Dollar corrected higher following yesterday’s selloff. All eyes now turn to January’s Employment data, which is expected to show that job creation accelerated last month. Consensus forecasts envision an 180,000 gain in nonfarm payrolls, a notable improvement from the 148,000 recorded in the prior month. The jobless rate is seen holding unchanged at 4.1 percent, matching a 17-year low.

What’s more, the pace of wage inflation is seen rising to the 2.6 percent, the highest in four months. That might bolster cautiously optimistic Fed rhetoric citing firming price growth expectations in the policy statement released earlier this week, boosting rate hike bets. Critically, none of this may be enough to offer meaningful support to the beleaguered greenback.

A disconnect has emerged: the US currency has fallen even as the priced-in Fed tightening path has steepened. That seems to reflect a focus on other central banks’ increasing capacity to play catch-up to the FOMC’s hawkish lead against a backdrop of broadly improving global growth. Strong US labor-market data may be read as broadly supportive of this narrative, sending the benchmark unit counter-intuitively lower.

The sentiment-sensitive Australian and New Zealand Dollars plunged alongside S&P 500 futures as risk aversion gripped financial markets in Asia Pacific trade. Regional shares lost close to 0.6 percent on average. The Japanese Yen likewise fell despite the risk-off environment after the Bank of Japan announced its first unlimited fixed-rate repo operation since July.

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** 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.