05.05 - Waiting for the NFP
- by Roger Gain
Investors and traders await the all-important NFP jobs report.
Here are 4 tips for today's trading. This will help you decide where you should invest and what to look for:
The U.S. Labor Department will release its April nonfarm payrolls report at 12:30 GMT on Friday.
The consensus forecast is that the data will show jobs growth of 185,000, following an increase of just 98,000 in March, the unemployment rate is forecast to inch up to 4.6% from 4.5%, while average hourly earnings are expected to rise 0.3% after gaining 0.2% a month earlier.
The Federal Reserve had indicated that it expects the already solid labor market to strengthen further, but some experts warned that a miss in today’s report could force the central bank to rethink its analysis of the U.S. economy.
In the first official string of appearances after the Fed left rates unchanged this weak and gave an upbeat outlook on the economy, market players will watch policymakers for any signs of confirmation that a rate hike could arrive in June and look for hints on the central bank’s plans on when and how it will normalize its balance sheet.
No fewer than six members are scheduled to appear throughout Friday including Fed chair Janet Yellen and vice chair Stanley Fischer.
Ahead of the appearances and jobs report, the U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback’s strength against a trade-weighted basket of six major currencies, was up 0.11% at 98.22 by 9:03GMT.
Markets priced in the odds of a hike at the June meeting at around 67%.
Oil struggled to recover on Friday amid concerns of rising U.S. production, slowing demand from China and a lack of commitment from major oil producers to confirm that they will extend the production cut past the June deadline.
The barrel of WTI rebounded on Friday but was still on track for weekly losses of nearly 7% as investors appeared to take heart in words from Saudi Arabian and Russian energy ministers that it was important to continue to work to rebalance the market.
Still, oil hovered near six month lows, erasing all gains since prior to the initial OPEC agreement last November to cut production.
Eyes will also remain on the continuously increasing production stateside as Baker Hughes release its weekly data on U.S. drilling activity later in the session.
The oilfield services provider reported last week that the U.S. rig count rose by 9 to 697, extending an 11-month drilling recovery to the highest level since August 2015.
U.S. crude oil futures gained 0.37% to $45.69 at 5:05AM ET (9:05GMT), while Brent oil traded up 0.68% to $48.71.
Global stocks traded mostly lower on Friday as investors opted to take risk off the table on the back on a continued drop in commodities and ahead of presidential elections in France along the U.S. employment report and a string of appearances from members of the Fed.
U.S. stock futures pointed to a flat open on Friday while waiting for the day’s references. At 9:06 GMT, the blue-chip Dow futures slipped 0.03%, S&P 500 futures edged forward 0.04% and the Nasdaq 100 futures inched up 0.02%.
Elsewhere, European equities retreated as markets held a cautious stance ahead of the final round in the French presidential elections. Though expectations are for the pro-European centrist Emmanuel Macron to win over anti-euro, far right candidate Marine Le Pen, markets remember similar surprise outcomes in the U.S. presidential elections with Trump’s victory or the yes on the Brexit vote that started the U.K.’s exit from the European Union despite polls’ indications to the contrary.
Earlier, Asian stocks declined for a third consecutive day on Friday as fresh falls in commodities raised concerns about the health of the global economy, while Japan remained closed for a holiday.