Australia: Unemployment drops to 5.2%; economy adds 13.9K jobs (San Francisco) - According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, today’s November jobs data came in much better than expected, with the unemployment rate having decreased to 5.2% (5.5% cons.) from 5.4% last month. The Australian economy added 13,900 jobs and the participation rate dropped 0.1 pts to 65.1%.

There is slightly less interest in today’s Nov jobs data than usual, given that another employment report will be released before the RBA meeting in Feb; the market is already pricing a 58% chance of another 25bp cash rate cut at that meeting, says Sean Callow of the Westpac Global Strategy Group in Sydney. But the data is surprising, and has added a bit of positive sentiment. According to David Scutt, the odds of a 25bps cut from the central bank in February is now down to 51% from 63% following the unemployment data.