ADP: 214K Nonfarm Jobs Created, Dollar Rallies

Andamento del mercato - 02/03/2016

Coming on the heels of notable improvements from the manufacturing sector reported during the prior session, the US dollar continues to firm up on the back of stronger economic figures.  Today’s ADP nonfarm employment number printed at 214,000 jobs added to the private sector versus the consensus estimate of a 190,000 increase.  While the January figure was revised back below the critical 200,000 threshold to 193,000 from 205,000, the numbers paint an overwhelmingly positive picture for the US labor economy, helping to stoke expectations of an interest rate increase sometime during the year.  This contrasts sharply with forecasts from just a month ago that put the probability of a 2016 rate hike at less than 10%.  The main contributor to the shift has been the Atlanta Federal Reserve Bank GDPNow model which is currently predicting expansion of 1.90% during the first quarter, helping to allay fears of an imminent recession facing the American economy.

Even though the ADP figure and Atlanta Fed model are adding to the cautious optimism currently enveloping financial markets, there is substantial room for disappointment in the coming sessions, namely from the upcoming nonfarm payroll figure due from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics on Friday.  The government's January’s NFP reading of 151,000 was further evidence of the potential for a wide disconnect between the official payroll figure and the ADP announcement.  Moreover, should factory orders and tomorrow’s ISM non-manufacturing PMI manage to match or exceed estimates, the dollar should be able to sustain the recent rebound versus peers, further hurting the appeal of gold as investor sentiment improves in risk assets.

While the kneejerk reaction to the ADP figure has been resoundingly positive for the US dollar, the key to any enduring rally against a basket of currencies and precious metals depends on an advance in underlying fundamental data.  Any disappointment tomorrow or Friday could see recent losses in gold erased, pushing the precious metal back towards the key $1250 level.


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