Market News & Analysis
AU Employment Finishes the Year On A Good Note
Matt Simpson December 19, 2019 12:58 PM
More to the point, today’s employment data reduced the odds of RBA cutting in February. For now.
- Unemployment rate falls to 5.2% (5.3% prior)
- 39.9k jobs added (highest gain since September 2018)
- Prior employment read revised lower from +14.7k to -19k
- Only 4.2k FT jobs though. Still better than -10.3k prior
- Participation rate just off record highs and steady at 66%
Considering there were some itchy trigger fingers from the bear camp today, in hope of a weak print to confirm a February rate cut, today’s employment figures were annoyingly good. Not great, but in context for a bearish move, annoying.
The lower unemployment rate and higher job creation is the icing on the cake, although it loses a mark for having last month’s job creation revised into negative territory. Still, the Aussie bounced across the board and AUD/JPY is today’s biggest gainer.
Yet there’s still a long way to go before we can be confident RBA won’t cut rates, with another round of employment data and inflation (among many others) to go. For that reason, we still see limited upside on the Aussie from this employment set alone.
Earlier in the session, New Zealand’s GDP figures beat estimates with ‘robust retail figures’ leading the way. This saw AUD/NZD break to fresh lows before Australian employment took it back within range.
We retain our core bearish view on AUD/NZD as outlined yesterday, although today’s data sees it remain within a holding pattern. The failed spike lower lays the potential for a bear-trap, yet whilst prices remain below 1.0500 we anticipate a break lower.
- Bears could therefor consider fading into minor rallies below 1.0500 or wait for a break below today’s pike low around 1.0350
- Bearish target is the 1.3000 handle and potentially the cluster of lows between 1.0238 / 1.0286
- We doubt these lows will break easily though, given their historical significance
- A break above 1.0500 assumes a deeper retracement and not necessarily a trend reversal, at this stage
AUD/JPY shows the potential to bounce a little high, although the size of any bounce is likely dependant upon risk appetite overall. 74.85 has been respected as support (prior resistance) and the 50-period eMA also acted as springboard for today’s employment set. The 50, 100 and 200-period eMA’s are in bullish sequence and pointing higher, and price action from the highs is reminiscent of a bullish wedge correction pattern.
- If successful, the pattern projects a target back around the 75.97 highs
- A break below 74.84 invalidates the near-term bullish bias and brings 74 into focus
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