The US$ is generally firm today while stocks have ended higher for a third consecutive day as White House officials signalled that Donald Trump’s tough talk on trade won’t lead to protectionist tariffs. The gains in US assets came about despite some soft data on Thursday, but traders are more focused on Friday’s upcoming employment data. The US initial jobless claims rose 24K to a seasonally adjusted 242K for the week ended March 30, missing economists’ forecast for a rise to 225K while the US trade deficit widened to $57.60 bio in February from $56.70 bio in January, the 6th consecutive monthly deficit. The metals are a little lower on the back of the stronger dollar, while WTI has been choppy, but is largely unchanged on the day.
Friday will focus almost entirely on the US Jobs data although before then the German Industrial Production for Feb will be released, but largely ignored (exp 0.3% mm). For the US jobs data, expectations are for Unemployment 4.0%, NFP +198k, AHE +0.2%mm/2.7%yy, AWH 34.5 and PR 63.5%. Much of the focus will again be on the AWH and if the numbers come in at close to expectation it is hard to see where the dollar is going to get much of a lift from, with US 10 year yields likely to hang pretty close to the current 2.83%. On the other hand, a strong outcome should see the US$ and yields head higher, which should then have a negative impact on stocks. Also note that Fed Chairman Jerome Powell speaks (after the NFP release) on the economic outlook to the Economic Club of Chicago. Have a good weekend.
|INDICES / COMMODITIES|
|ASX SPI: 5789|