- The US reported a second consecutive blockbuster Nonfarm Payrolls report.
- Rising wages add to pressures on the Fed to taper bond buys.
- Stocks may suffer rate hike concerns, while the greenback has room to rise.
One million new jobs – when summing up July's better-than-expected 943,000 and the 88,000 upward revision to June's figure, this midsummer Nonfarm Payrolls is sizzling hot. Moreover, the Unemployment Rate has dropped from 5.9% to 5.4%, a sharp decline, beating expectations – and coming despite an increase in the PArticipation Rate to 61.7%. The U-6 Underemployment Rate tumbled from 9.8% to 9.2%, adding to the dollar increase.
With these figures, has the US economy made "substantial further progress? That is the term the all-powerful Federal Reserve set for withdrawing stimulus. The answer seems to be positive.
The question on investors' minds is: when will the Federal Reserve taper its bond-buying scheme? The world's most powerful central bank is currently purchasing $120 billion worth of debt every month, pumping a significant amount of cash into the economy. Reducing the scheme would not only make the dollar more attractive due to less devaluation but also serve as a signal that rate hikes are coming.
Fed Vice-Chair Richard Clarida said that a tapering announcement would come this year – and these words have triggered a sell-off in bonds. In turn, higher yields on Uncle Sam's debt have supported the dollar.
Clarida also said that risks to his inflation outlook are to the upside – thus causing markets to focus more on costs, including those of labor. Average Hourly Earnings
And also here, there is also a strong dose of positive news – salaries are up 0.4% MoM in July, better than 0.3% projected. Moreover, wage growth has accelerated from 3.6% to 4% YoY – also smashing forecasts. This excellent development for workers implies more spending and elevated price pressures. Just before the publication, it was reported that Walmart is giving bonuses to retain warehouse workers. Happy days.
Prospects of fewer dollars printed mean a stronger greenback, while the specter of rate hikes gives investors a cause for a pause when coming to stocks. Shares of tech companies will likely bear the brunt of losses.
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