Jobs data published on Thursday for the USA painted an optimistic backdrop to the encouraging manufacturing figures published on Wednesday, weekly jobless claims were down, as are continuous claims. The ADP numbers, the precursor to the NFP number, came in above the forecast of 190k, at 250k. Challenger job cuts came in at a stunning level, at -3.6% and circa 36k for December, it’s the lowest print since 1990. Traders (and the machines) also had time to analyse the latest minutes from the FOMC/Fed monetary policy meeting held in December.
The minutes were released on Wednesday evening and the general consensus from the committee, appears to be a short to medium term policy, based on no risks to the economic recovery, despite the recovery mainly being a financial services and asset based recovery, failing to raise the living standards/income for a huge swathe of Americans; 80% of USA adults own 8% of stocks.
The U.S. dollar experienced mixed fortunes on the day; the dollar index was down circa 0.3%, whilst the dollar fell by approx 0.5% versus the euro and by 0.1% versus sterling. Gold rose to a high of 1,326, a level not seen since September 19th. Despite the Trump administration announcing that all of the USA coast line was now available to drill for oil and gas, WTI oil made little gains. The majority of Markit PMI readings either beat or reached forecasts, with Germany and the Eurozone composites delivering highly optimistic readings.
The euro closed in on a three year high (January 2015) versus the U.S. dollar. Sterling moved ahead versus certain peers. However, FX traders appear to be exercising caution were the U.K. pound is concerned, they’re still looking for reasons to bid up the pound before Brexit negotiations enter a crucial period over the coming months and the clock beginning to countdown to the March 2019 exit. GPB/USD closed the day out up circa 0.1% on the day.