Dollar rebounds ahead of Payroll Report

Yesterday the dollar continued to regain ground it lost earlier in the week and that rebound

has continued in early trade this morning as the GBPUSD edges backwards, close to 1.30

and the EURUSD slips towards 1.1150.

Earlier in the week the latest ADP private payroll report for April was way above the market

consensus at +275k which would indicate a strong number for today’s main payroll report at

1.30pm. However, this beat was surely more than offset by the latest ISM prices paid

component being much lower than forecast, along with evidence elsewhere from other

data, that there appears to indicate there is still no price pressure whatsoever in the


It was the previous evidence of this which led the dollar lower ahead of the Fed’s monetary

policy decision on Wednesday evening. Following that, the GBPUSD then lifted above 1.31

as the EURUSD touched 1.1265. This of course meant that the USD index really accelerated

to the downside after it fell back through the earlier upside breakout level at 97.71. Prior to

that the USD index had traded to as high as 98.33.

However, the subsequent breakdown below 97.71 forced a sell off to as low as 97.15 after

the FOMC policy decision on Wednesday. Granted that sell off clearly also had roots in

month end dollar sales the previous afternoon. Notwithstanding this though it was the Fed

boss, Jerome Powell who later came to the Dollar’s rescue after the Fed did as expected and

left all the main parts of their policy unchanged on Wednesday evening.

Powell basically made it clear to the markets (and the US president!) that monetary policy is

going nowhere at the moment, and in the FOMC’s opinion that there’s no compelling case

for them to act in either direction on rates for the foreseeable future. The crux for the

dollar’s rebound though was really Powell’s continued insistence that the current lack of

price pressure and benign inflation is entirely ‘transitory’.

Only time will tell on that I guess, but if nothing else at least the Fed boss did what he needs

to, and continue to deflect unhelpful criticism from the Commander in Chief.

So, it was really Powell’s comments that helped the dollar bounce back on Wednesday

evening and then build on those gains again yesterday. Indeed, the USD index is back above

that 97.71 level again as I write this morning, currently trading around 97.85.

Understandably, as to whether or not the dollar maintains that rebound could depend on

the outcome of the main April Jobs report later today.

Beyond the dollar, the commodity space is still under pressure with the AUD falling back

below 0.7000 today. That move was surely helped by WTI and gold both extending their

losses yesterday. Earlier in the week there was a call from a leading US bank player to buy

the AUDUSD at 0.7010, looking for a move towards 0.7400 with a stop loss set at 0.6900.

Right now I’d say the most valuable piece of information to gleamed from that

recommendation would be the level of the stop loss!

The pound is drifting a little lower today and once again probably falling foul of the stronger

dollar more than anything else. It was hardly the surprise of the week that the Old Lady left

interest rates on hold yesterday, with the MPC voting 9-0 to do so. Neither were the

warnings from Mark Carney that rates will have to rise after Brexit.

Irrespective of all that, the jury is still out on the Queen’s currency and it’s continuing to

look highly pivotal around 1.3000 versus the dollar, irrespective of the monthly close being

back above that level on Tuesday evening. The fact that EURUSD is falling again has much to

do with the GBPEUR, not only remaining above 1.1500, but also rebounding back above

1.1650 this morning.

Elsewhere today, the Asian equity markets (minus Japan which is still closed until next

week) have seemingly shrugged off what was a pretty negative set of closes on Wall Street

yesterday with S+P ending the session back below its 2941 breakout level. Earlier in the

week the lift through that point, but only to as high as 2954, is surely disappointing for

anyone looking for some decent upside acceleration? That does rather beg the question as

to whether or not that upside move was something of a false break, or ‘Bull trap’ for want

of a better expression?

Well, that’s a tricky question to answer particularly given the positive monthly close for the

index on Tuesday evening. However, my concern is that it might be the case, and I am

certainly not at all sure, especially when I cast an eye on those oil prices this morning with

WTI now off around 10% from its peak at the beginning of last week. So, as long as the

correlation between WTI and the S+P remains largely intact, then I am going to remain very


The other thing to consider here is whether or not a positive outcome to the China/US trade

talks is entirely priced in now? Increasingly I think it is and as I said before; what isn’t is a

more underwhelming result, or worse still something entirely less positive. Given the most

recent headlines on that front perhaps we might finally get some clarity sooner rather than

later and possibly even as early as next week?

Meantime, a little later on today, we shall see just how many jobs Uncle Sam created in

April and as usual the wages component of that report will be of equal, or possibly even of

more interest than the actual headline jobs numbers.

Ahead of this report the market consensus is for annualized wages in the US to be running

slightly higher than the previous estimate, at +3.3%, compared to +3.2%. My suggestion on

this would lead me to conclude that anything above 3.5% would surely endorse what the

Fed boss said earlier this week whereas anything sub 3.2% would rather tend to undermine

it. All will be revealed later today perhaps?

Important Economic Releases Due Today

03/05- 9.30am UK April Services PMI index

03/05- 10.00am Eurozone April CPI Inflation report

03/05- 1.30pm US April Unemployment Report