Overview of Australian jobs report (Feb)
Australia's monthly jobs report is back on the cards for Asian markets today and employment is expected to rise for a 19th consecutive month, extending the record. The report will be released at 01:30 GMT, (11:30am Syd/9: 30am Sing/HK. ), and markets are looking for 18k vs 22.6k prior; (The median forecast on Bloomberg is for a similar report to April, with jobs up 19k (vs +23k) and the unemployment rate edging down from 5.6% to 5.5%.).
Westpac’s forecasts 17k on total employment, 5.5% unemployment rate, assuming the participation rate is steady at 65.6%:
This would see annual jobs growth ease from 2.7% to 2.6%, as the pace of job creation normalizes following the 2017 burst.
Analysts at TD Securities are bullish on employment:
Employment is expected to lift by +25k in May, buoyed by upbeat leading indicators, as well as favourable seasonals. If the participation rate remains at 65.6% (after last month’s uptick) then the unemployment rate eases a pip back to 5.5%, where the RBA expects it to be. The volatile nature of this monthly series hints at a boost to part-time jobs at the expense of full-time.
How could the data affect AUD/USD?
Overnight, AUD/USD was whipsawed around the Fed where an upbeat assessment of the economy accompanied by a rate hike of 25bps along with a hawkish addition to the dot plots was sending the AUD/USD back onto the defensive, capping the bull's corrective attempts to the 0.76 handle. The price was clearing the 21-D SMA/ daily cloud base and traded at a low of 0.7529. However, a switch up in the dollar on the back of trade war angst sent the pair higher to a close of 0.7577 in NY. AUD/USD is now consolidated around the 21-D SMA at 0.7569 and trapped between the rising channel's support at the low 0.7529 and where resistance meets the 100-D SMA at 0.7714, (regard them as potential break out points).
- Some background fundamental inputs for the Aussie ahead of today's jobs data - ANZ
- Forex today: bid-up dollar on hawkish FOMC rolls over on trade war angst
About Aussie jobs data:
The Employment Change released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics is a measure of the change in the number of employed people in Australia. Generally speaking, a rise in this indicator has positive implications for consumer spending which stimulates economic growth. Therefore, a high reading is seen as positive (or bullish) for the AUD, while a low reading is seen as negative (or bearish).
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