The euro has started the week in positive territory. In the North American session, EUR/USD is trading at 1.0217, up 0.36% on the day.
The week wrapped up with a superb nonfarm payroll report, which sent the US dollar broadly higher. However, the gains proved to be short-lived, as the euro has recovered most of Friday’s losses. The July nonfarm payroll report posted a blowout gain of 528 thousand, crushing the estimate of 250 thousand, and improving on the solid June release of 398 thousand. Unemployment ticked down to 3.5% from 3.6%, and wage growth remained unchanged at 5.2%, ahead of the forecast of 4.9%.
The nonfarm payroll release was certainly impressive, but the Federal Reserve may be less than enthusiastic. Why? Since the data points to a tight labor market, especially the sharp gain in wages, as firms continue to experience labor shortages and must sweeten their compensation in order to attract employees. At 5.2%, wage growth is far higher than the Fed’s inflation target of 2%, and Fed policy makers are concerned about a wage-price spiral which could increase inflationary pressures and force the Fed to remain hawkish.
Fed officials were already pushing back against the idea that the rate-hike cycle was almost over, and with the latest employment numbers, the Fed may feel the need to remain aggressive and respond with another supersize 0.75% increase at the next policy meeting in September. Fed Chair Powell has said that the Fed will be data-dependent as it considers its next move, which means that upcoming inflation and employment reports will be crucial and carefully monitored by the markets and Fed officials.
Sentix Investor Confidence remains in deep-freeze
The eurozone could well face a recession, as Germany, the bellwether of the bloc, has posted weak data which is raising concerns. With a possible energy shortage this winter due if Russia decides to turn off the tap, the economic outlook is troubling. Unsurprisingly, German and eurozone confidence indicators have been pointing downwards, a reflection of uncertainty and pessimism. Earlier today, Eurozone Sentix Investor Confidence for August came in at -25.2, a bit better than the July reading of -26.4 but shy of the estimate of -24.7. This indicator has been mired in negative territory for a sixth straight month, pointing to prolonged pessimism amongst financial experts.
- EUR/USD is testing resistance at 1.0199. Above, there is resistance at 1.0274
- There is support at 1.0103 and 1.0028
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