THE TAKEAWAY: US labor market continues to improve only at a modest pace (+150K to +200K), but July report disappoints handily > Participation Rate falls leading to decline in Unemployment Rate > Second US data poor as well > September QE3 taper in question > USDJPY BEARISH
The strong bout of US economic data the past week proved to be a red herring, as the July labor market report was roundly disappointing. The headline figure at +162K was well-below expectations, and the drop in the Unemployment Rate was aided by a shrinking labor force.
Overall, the report takes away more than it offers; in the sense that it means that the decision to taper QE3 in September has become that much more difficult for the Federal Reserve. As we learned after this Wednesday’s FOMC policy meeting, the Fed isn’t exactly excited about where the US economy is right now, though remains optimistic about the 2H’13.
Here’s the key data driving price action ahead of the US cash equity open on Friday:
- Change in Nonfarm Payrolls: +162K versus +185K expected, from +188K (revised lower from +195K)
- Change in Private Payrolls: +161K versus +195K expected, from +196K (revised lower from +202K)
- Unemployment Rate (U3): 7.4% versus 7.5% expected, from 7.6%
- Underemployment Rate (U6): 14.0% from 14.3%
- Participation Rate: 63.4% from 63.5%
USDJPY 1-minute Chart: August 2, 2013
Charts Created using Marketscope – prepared by Christopher Vecchio
Price action was similar across the other USD-majors: the EURUSD rallied from $1.3190 to as high as 1.3284; the AUDUSD rallied from $0.8896 to as high as 0.8969; and the GBPUSD rallied from $1.5142 to as high as 1.5276.
--- Written by Christopher Vecchio, Currency Analyst
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