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FXPRIMUS Market Brief of the Week: Is This Non-farm Payroll (NFP) the Same as a Weather Report?

SINGAPORE, SINGAPORE -- (Marketwired) -- 01/14/14 -- In FXPRIMUS' Market Brief of The Week for 13 January, the brokerage firm's Senior Economist, Jimmy Zhu, analyses labour market data from US and Australia, and China's Manufacturing Purchasing Managers' Index.

Economic Insights

Investors shouldn't overreact on one-month data, especially from DecemberIn the United States, no single indicator can tell the actual scenario in the labor market. One-month data, especially for December, is not significant enough to change the Federal Reserve (Fed) outlook on the US economy and its monetary policy. Under this prospective, payrolls data last Friday provided ample selling opportunities for currencies rebounding sharply, such as the Aussie and Yen, as long as the US recovery continues gaining its momentum later in the year.

The Labor Department report showed that employment rose by 74,000, the smallest gain since January. The falling unemployment rate with a falling participating rate shouldn't be viewed as positive since more people left the labor force. You can't eliminate the weather factor and other separated data suggests it. Heavy snowfall forced some workers to remain home; less hiring will be available under this circumstance. According to official figures, 273,000 people didn't report to work because of bad weather, the most for any December since 1977. In other words, weather had an impact; the market understood that and so does the Fed. If this was any other month, payrolls might not change so significantly. However, many temporary jobs are required in the Christmas and year-end seasons, bad weather forces more people to refuse to hire or be hired. The difficult thing to explain is why the participation rate fell 0.2%. It didn't echo with recent resilient indicators in the US, such as Institute for Supply Management (ISM) manufacturing and non-manufacturing Purchasing Managers' Indexes (PMI).

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The market may have an opportunity to digest the NFP, thanks to the minimal data flow this week. It also reflects street expectation on the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) decision this month. Even with unemployment falling to 6.7% at this stage, I do not think the Fed will rush to lower its threshold before normalizing rates in the upcoming few meetings. They expect to gradually remove its stimulus in its balance sheet this year, unless Fundamentals change substantially in the US or globally in the latter part of the year.

Australia will release its labor market data this week. The Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) is expected to use it to decide the following monetary policy in February, and to what extent to use verbal intervention to its Aussie dollar, which is called "jawboning." Based on the Swap market probability, the market still expected one more rate cut from the RBA. By looking at the macro picture on the Australia economy, the currency easing cycle still exists well, especially when the Chinese economy may lose its recovery momentum in the near term.

In China, manufacturing PMI started falling from its peak despite economic indicators remaining sound. But the US and Euro Zone manufacturing activities continue seeking a new high. This alarms the possible growth divergence between the Chinese economy and Developed Markets in western countries. It also further alarms the RBA to keep its monetary policy longer than expected.

For the European Central Bank (ECB) press conference, no significant monetary policy changed besides highlighting a strengthening firmer forward guidance. Disinflation in the Euro Zone hasn't been severe enough to prompt the central bank to ease further after it cut the rate to a record low at 0.25% last November.

Top news this week

US Retail Sales MoM

I expect figures to come in at 0.1%.

Australia's Employment Changes

I expect figures to come in at 11,000.

Trade Recommendation

Short AUDNZD at 1.1055

The AUDNZD was in a clear downtrend since March last year, and there is no clear evidence to show that the pair will reverse yet. According to the latest readings of Chinese data, the further upside surprise of the Chinese economy in the near run has been well-trimmed. In other words, demands on raw materials shrank. However, rising wages in China continue boosting demand for dairy and food imports, benefiting New Zealand's economy.

I would like to go Short on the AUDNZD if the pair rebounds to 1.0880.

Entry Price = 1.0880

Stop Loss = 1.0930

1st Profit = 1.0830

2nd Profit = 1.0800

To view a graph associated with this release, please visit the following link: http://media3.marketwire.com/docs/922036b.pdf

ABOUT FXPRIMUS

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