US NFP set to show still-solid employment gains as Fed approaches beginning of the easing cycle

  • US Nonfarm Payrolls are expected to rise 190K in June, slowing from May’s 272K increase.
  • The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics will release the Employment report at 12:30 GMT.
  • The US Dollar awaits employment data after Fed Chair Jerome Powell’s dovish remarks on Tuesday.

With US Federal Reserve (Fed) Chairman Jerome Powell’s Sintra appearance out of the way, all eyes now remain on top-tier Nonfarm Payrolls (NFP) data for June, due on Friday at 12:30 GMT.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) will release the US labor market data, which could offer cues on the timing of the Fed’s first interest-rate cut this year and the US Dollar’s (USD) next direction.

What to expect in the next Nonfarm Payrolls report?

The Nonfarm Payrolls report is set to show that the US economy created 190,000 jobs in June after having added 272,000 in May.

The Unemployment Rate will likely hold steady at 4.0% in the same period. Meanwhile, a closely-watched measure of wage inflation, Average Hourly Earnings, is seen increasing by 3.9% in the year through June following May’s growth of 4.1%.

Markets are set to analyze these key data sets closely, as they could provide a fresh guide to the possible timing of the Fed’s dovish pivot.

Markets scaled up their expectations for a Fed rate cut in September after Tuesday’s Chairman Jerome Powell’s commentary at the European Central Bank (ECB) Forum on Central Banking in Sintra.

Powell sounded quite optimistic about the recent encouraging inflation reports but said he needed more data before considering rate cuts. Markets perceived his acknowledgment of the progress in the disinflationary trend as dovish.

Meanwhile, the US private sector added 150,000 jobs in June, a modest decrease from the upwardly revised 157,000 figure in May, the ADP reported on Wednesday. The data missed the analysts’ estimates of a 160,000 job addition. It’s worth mentioning that NFP has outperformed ADP in nine out of the past ten months.

Fed Chair Powell’s dovish commentary, combined with weak US employment data, ramped up bets for a rate cut by the US central bank in September, with markets now seeing a 73% chance against a 64% probability seen early Tuesday.

Previewing the June employment situation report, BBH analysts said: “Bloomberg consensus is 190k vs. 272k in May, while its whisper number stands at 198k currently.  For reference, the average gain over the past 12 months is 232k. The unemployment rate is expected to remain steady at 4.0% even as the participation rate is expected to rise a tick to 62.6%.  With the labor market in better alignment, the pace of wage growth will be a bigger driver of Fed expectations. Average hourly earnings are forecast to rise 0.3% MoM, with the YoY rate expected to fall two ticks to 3.9.”

How will US June Nonfarm Payrolls affect EUR/USD?

The return of the doves smashed the US Dollar across the board alongside the US Treasury bond yields, driving the EUR/USD pair briefly above the 1.0800 threshold. Attention now turns to the US NFP report to affirm the loosening labor market conditions and the disinflationary trend in wage inflation.

A stronger-than-expected NFP headline figure, along with hot wage inflation data, could push back against the renewed bets of a September Fed rate cut, offering a fresh life to the US Dollar. This, in turn, could trigger a correction in the EUR/USD pair toward 1.0700. However, if the US employment data strongly indicates labor market slack, the Greenback could see a fresh leg down on a potential confirmation that the Fed will lower rates in September. In such a case, EUR/USD could surge past the 1.0850 level.

Dhwani Mehta, Analyst at FXStreet, offers a brief technical outlook for EUR/USD: 

“The EUR/USD pair is battling at around 1.0790, where the critical 200-day Simple Moving Average (SMA) and the 100-day SMA coincide. The 14-day Relative Strength Index (RSI) sits above the 50 level, near 54, suggesting that upside potential remains intact.”

“Buyers need to find acceptance above the convergence of the 200-day and 100-day SMAs, for an extended recovery. The next topside barriers for EUR/USD will then be seen at the June 12 high of 1.0852 and the 1.0900 round figure. Conversely, the initial demand area is seen at 21-day SMA at 1.0746, below which the 1.0700 level will be tested en route to the June low of 1.0660,” Dhwani adds.

Economic Indicator

Average Hourly Earnings (YoY)

The Average Hourly Earnings gauge, released by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, is a significant indicator of labor cost inflation and of the tightness of labor markets. The Federal Reserve Board pays close attention to it when setting interest rates. A high reading is seen as bullish for the US Dollar (USD), while a low reading is seen as bearish.

Read more.

Inflation FAQs

Inflation measures the rise in the price of a representative basket of goods and services. Headline inflation is usually expressed as a percentage change on a month-on-month (MoM) and year-on-year (YoY) basis. Core inflation excludes more volatile elements such as food and fuel which can fluctuate because of geopolitical and seasonal factors. Core inflation is the figure economists focus on and is the level targeted by central banks, which are mandated to keep inflation at a manageable level, usually around 2%.

The Consumer Price Index (CPI) measures the change in prices of a basket of goods and services over a period of time. It is usually expressed as a percentage change on a month-on-month (MoM) and year-on-year (YoY) basis. Core CPI is the figure targeted by central banks as it excludes volatile food and fuel inputs. When Core CPI rises above 2% it usually results in higher interest rates and vice versa when it falls below 2%. Since higher interest rates are positive for a currency, higher inflation usually results in a stronger currency. The opposite is true when inflation falls.

Although it may seem counter-intuitive, high inflation in a country pushes up the value of its currency and vice versa for lower inflation. This is because the central bank will normally raise interest rates to combat the higher inflation, which attract more global capital inflows from investors looking for a lucrative place to park their money.

Formerly, Gold was the asset investors turned to in times of high inflation because it preserved its value, and whilst investors will often still buy Gold for its safe-haven properties in times of extreme market turmoil, this is not the case most of the time. This is because when inflation is high, central banks will put up interest rates to combat it. Higher interest rates are negative for Gold because they increase the opportunity-cost of holding Gold vis-a-vis an interest-bearing asset or placing the money in a cash deposit account. On the flipside, lower inflation tends to be positive for Gold as it brings interest rates down, making the bright metal a more viable investment alternative.


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US NFP set to show still-solid employment gains as Fed approaches beginning of the easing cycle:

US Nonfarm Payrolls are expected to rise 190K in June, slowing from May’s 272K increase.
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