What to Expect
US payrolls, according to ADP, rose in the month of December. Behind the uptick in jobs for the month over month comparison, are several factors that additionally support higher employment when the US Labor Department releases NFP figures for the month tomorrow morning.
Initial Jobless Claims – First time claims for unemployment remain bullishly low, with the four week moving average still printing below 400,000. The rolling average witnessed a 11,250 drop to 356,750 last week, supportive of the notion of job growth stabilization. Incidentally, the measure moved only slightly higher to 360,000 following this week’s uptick in claims. Current count continues to remain at the lowest levels in almost 5 years.
Manufacturing Employment Gains – Major employment subindex readings from recent manufacturing survey have shown expansionary gains in the amount of employed. This is in stark contrast to previous readings that the sector was actually shedding positions. The most recent nationwide ISM survey confirmed the figure, rising to a 3-month high.
At or Above 150,000. With estimates now hovering the 150,000 mark, anything at or above would propel higher beta (or riskier) currencies like the EURUSD. Not only would this mark the fourth consecutive month of six figure employment growth, it speaks well for expansion at the tailend of 2012. Fourth quarter estimated GDP is expected in the 3% range, which would dispel a lot of the skepticism surrounding the US economy.
Between 100,000 to 150,000. Although not as bullish, the median alternative would remain supportive for Euro strength. However, the instantaneous momentum may not be enough to take out formidable resistance via the 1.3200, but rather prop up the currency for a meaningful test.
Below 100,000. The worst case scenario, a lower than 100,000 count would be damaging to current expectations. Not only would it signify labor market weakness, the lower figure would spark fears that companies are continuing to cut head count in anticipation of a domestic slowdown. The scenario would be widely Euro bearish, and likely extend the current weakness towards 1.3100.