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Jobs numbers essentially smashed expectations, with non-farm employment change coming in at 248,000, beating the consensus of 216,000. The unemployment rate dropped below 6% - a significant handle - to 5.9% (the bottom band of the Fed’s target).
There was also a 69,000 upward revision to growth over the previous 2 months. The minor negative in this was the fact average hourly earnings dropped off a bit – but this will eventually sort itself out as job creation continues to grow. Meanwhile, the trade deficit also dropped and services activity powered ahead, with the ISM non-manufacturing PMI coming in ahead of expectations. The US dollar index rallied to a high of 86.69 after the greenback gained significant ground against most of its major peers.
AUD/USD testing January lows
AUD/USD recovered to $0.8800 only for the selling to resume, and has since dropped to January lows in the $0.8660 region. In fact, AUD/USD traded to a low of $0.8643 before bouncing to close a touch above January lows.
However, the negative momentum has continued this morning and I wouldn’t be surprised to see the level seriously retested once again. A break below this will see the pair trade at its lowest since July 2010.
Tomorrow we have the RBA meeting, where little change is expected, but perhaps talk around the property market and the declining AUD will continue in the near term. The next key level for the pair is down to the $0.8500 region. China is closed today and that’ll limit activity around the region.