The headline numbers were mostly better than expected with 252,000 jobs added, much better than an expected 241,000 but it was a big drop off from the previous month’s 353,000. The unemployment rate was a better than expected 5.6% but the problem was in average hourly earnings which contracted 0.2%. With inflation being a significant talking point following the recent oil price fall, then this reading was always going to be watched closely. Given the USD had been firm heading into this data, traders used this as an opportunity to take profits and we have since seen a greenback pullback against the majors.
Traders eyeing resistance
AUD/USD has popped back above $0.8200 but seems to have run out of steam following the release of the home loans and ANZ job ads data. Home loans data showed 0.7% contraction which was much worse than an expectation of 1.8% growth. Also due out of Australia this week will be Thursday’s jobs numbers. Around the region we also have China’s trade balance, new loans, M2 money supply and foreign direct investment data to look out for. There will be plenty of questions around whether the AUD can hold on to its gains as the pair remains in a medium-term downtrend. Additionally, local data remains choppy particularly in the jobs market. Should data miss this week then there could also be room for fresh AUD selling. However, I would remain cautious given the near term trend remains positive. Traders will be watching the $0.8300 region for selling opportunities.