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Friday, August 04, 2017

Locked and loaded for non-farm payrolls. What to watch for

It's game time as we count down to the US and Canadian jobs reports
The consensus for non-farm payrolls is +180K but barring a miss of +/- 50K, the headline won't have much of an effect on markets. It's all about wages.

Average hourly earnings are forecast to rise 0.3% m/m and 2.4% y/y. Estimates range from +0.1% to +0.4% m/m. Couple with that is average weekly hours, which is forecast to be steady at 34.5 hours.

The unemployment rate is forecast to dip to 4.3% from 4.4% with participation at 62.8% last month.
In terms of scenarios, every 0.1 pp miss in wages is worth about 50 pips in USD/JPY. There is lots of talk about a skew in favor of the US dollar but I see it the other way. The dollar looks super-weak lately and with all the drama in Washington and worry about trade, a +0.1% m/m could really kick off a rout in USD. And I wouldn't be buying dips at any point today.

If the wage numbers are strong, I'll be watching to see if the dollar can hold the gains. If not, it's yet-another dire signal.

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