The U.S dollar strengthened against the Great Britain Pound and other major currencies during last week’s trading session after a tremendous U.S. jobs report helped strengthened hawkish arguments for an imminent interest rate hike by the Federal Reserve next month. Earlier weakness was witnessed in Pound after a dovish comment from BOE during the Central Bank’s last meeting indicating that interest rates might be kept on hold due to poor inflation reports.
On Friday morning, the U.S. Department of Labor said in its October national employment report that nonfarm payrolls surged by 271,000 last month, significantly above expectations for a consensus gain of 190,000. The sharp gains marked the largest increase in U.S. nonfarm jobs since last December. Private payrolls also soared by 268,000 in October, above forecasts of a 174,000 increase.
The U-6 unemployment rate, a broader gauge of the national employment situation, fell by 0.2% to 9.8%, its lowest level since May, 2008. The reading, which measures the total level of unemployed workers plus those marginally attached to the labor force, stood at 11.1% last October. The indicator also accounts for workers who are no longer looking for a job, but have looked for one over the last 12 months.
On Wednesday in testimony before the House Financial Services Committee, Yellen sent strong hints that the Federal Open Market Committee could raise short-term interest rates at its December meeting if the economy demonstrated continued improvement. The FOMC’s benchmark Federal Funds Rate has remained at its current near-zero level since 2009. Following Friday’s optimistic employment report, the CME Group (O:CME) increased the probability of a December rate hike to 70%, up from a percentage in the low 60s in response to Yellen’s comments on Capitol Hill.
Weekly bias remains on the downside as 21 and 55 EMA is crossed downward on the 4 hour, daily, weekly and monthly time-frames respectively implying that more decline is still in progress. Also SSRC oscillator signals more bearish momentum is confirmed for the week. More decline to 1.4565 low is expected. On the upside, above 1.5203 minor resistance will turn bias neutral and bring consolidations before staging another decline.
In the week ahead, investors will be looking ahead to Friday’s U.S. data on retail sales, producer prices and consumer sentiment for fresh indications on the likelihood of a December rate hike.
Also Wednesday’s Average Earnings Index, Claimant Count Change and Unemployment Change from the GBP will also be in focus.