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The US dollar was already trading with a heavier bias before the shockingly poor service ISM. The August non-manufacturing ISM tumbled to 51.4, a six-year low, from 55.5 in July. Markit, which does its own survey, showed a smaller decline in its August read to 51.0 from 51.4 in July. This was up slightly from the preliminary 50.9 estimate.
The US dollar is trading heavily against most of the major and emerging market currencies. However, the losses are modest, and the greenback remains within recent ranges. The Antipodean and Scandi bloc currencies are performing best.
Several developments took place while US markets were closed for its Labor Day holiday. Most of the economic news was favorable. This included a strong snap back in the UK service PMI, more evidence that the moral suasion campaign to lift wages in Japan is yielding some success and a rise in the Caixin's China's service PMI.
The last two weeks have been about the US. First, it was Jackson Hole. The leadership of the Federal Reserve, Yellen, Dudley and Fischer sang from the same songbook. They all signaled that the time was approaching to take another step in the normalization of monetary policy, without specifying precisely when.
Then it was the US employment report, which Fischer had specifically identified as important.
Speculative activity remained light in the latest CFTC reporting period ending August 30. There were no gross position adjustments that we recognize as significant, 10k contracts or more.
There were only three gross adjustments by speculators of more than 4k contracts. Speculators added 82.k contracts to their gross short euro position, bringing it to 190.2k contracts. That ended a four-week stretch during which speculators covered short euro exposure.
The US dollar showed an unexpected resiliency to the disappointing August employment data. The dollar's resilience in the face of the jobs data may reflect that many see the report did not alter investors' or policymakers' information set. It did not sway opinion very much for or against a move. There is not much market-moving data from the US next week outside of the ISM non-manufacturing report.
The US grew 151k jobs last month and when coupled with the 20k upward revision to the July figure the net job creation is not far from the 170k-180k median expectation.
However, the details were more disappointing. Average hourly earnings rose 0.1%. The 2.4% year-over-year increase compares with a revised 2.7% (from 2.6%) in July and is the weakest pace since March.
The US dollar is little changed ahead of the job report. Our near-term bias is for a lower dollar. Sterling is flat and is holding on to about a 1% gain this week. The Japanese yen is about a 0.3% lower and is off 1.7% this week. The euro was coming into today for the week.
How much growth has foreign exchange experienced from the last report in April 2013?
Overall trading in foreign exchange has fallen from a year-to-year basis. Markets in April 2016 saw turnover fall to $5.1 trillion from $5.4 trillion due primarily to less movement in the JPY in the current market environment.
What is the break down among the different foreign exchange products?
The World Bank sold the equivalent of about $700 mln of a three-year of a multiple currency bond that duplicated the composition of the IMF's Special Drawing Right or SDR. There has been much fanfare. It is the first SDR bond in more than 30 years according to reports.
The new month has begun with a couple of surprises. The biggest surprise has been the record jump in the UK manufacturing PMI to 53.3 from 48.3. A much smaller rebound was expected in August after the Brexit shock drop in July.
Oil has broken down further today. The ostensible trigger was the larger than expected build in US inventories. However, the price of oil has been trending lower since the beginning of last week. It appears that our skepticism of talk of an output freeze is gaining support.
The Saudis have indicated that they do not see a need for action, while the Iranians have not yet returned output to pre-embargo levels.