The US$ remains firm on Thursday, underpinned by the positive job data which indicated that the initial jobless claims dropped 2k to 236k in the week ended December 2, below expectation of 241k, and points towards a solid non-farm payroll although much of the focus will remain in the wage growth. Cable is also strong today on talk progress in the Brexit negotiations with regard to the Irish border. The other major mover has been the Aud which remains under pressure because of the recent soft data and also because of heavy copper/iron ore prices. Elsewhere, stocks and WTI are slightly higher, while Gold has finally broken the strong support at 1260 and headed quickly to 1245. It seems as though Gold (and Silver) is rapidly losing its shine as investors cut positions to head into Bitcoin.
Friday will be all about the US Employment data (exp 4.1%, NFP +198K, AWH 34.4, AHE 0.2%) although there will be some action before then beginning shortly with the NZ Mfg Sales and then from Australia, the October Home Loans and Investment Lending for Homes. The China Trade Balance is also due (exp US$ 35 bio, Imports +11.3%, Exports + 5%) and note that tomorrow (Saturday) will see China CPI/PPI (CPI exp 0.1%mm, 1.8% yy; PPI 5.9%). Europe will focus on the German Current Account and Trade Balance while the UK will look to the Manufacturing/Industrial Production, Goods Trade Balance and NIESR GDP Estimate for inspiration. All the action will then come from the NFP as traders look towards next week’s December FOMC Meeting. Also note that the US faces a partial government shutdown after money runs out on Dec 8 if Congress can’t agree on a spending bill although it seems that progress is being made in the negotiations and all will be well.
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