On Wednesday, UK’s ONS (Office for National Statistics) release the latest job data, showing a decade low for the jobless rate at 5.1% – a figure unchanged since December. The wage growth though still remained subdued around the 2% handle. Excluding bonuses, the figure goes just over 2% beating by far the estimated drop to 1.8% from previous 1.9% hike. If bonuses are to be excluded, the wage growth is 1.9% as expected.
The unemployment figure went down 60k between last year’s October and December, reaching 1.69 million while employment went up subsequently 205K to reach 31.4 million. Benefits for jobless citizens fell 14.8K to reach 706.2K in the month of January, shoving the rate to 2.2%. December’s total claims drop was 15.2K while in October the number went down 4.3K.
The EUR/USD pair was trading comfortable in the 1.1135 area just before the Fed minutes, posting daily heights at 1.1156 in the aftermath but failing to maintain the trend and retracing back to 1.1130. For Wednesday, the EUR managed to hold the support at 1.1105, though the day’s low was the weakest value hit since the 8th of February. In January’s meeting, when Fed’s FOMC (Federal Open Market Committee) decided against a rate drop – after the rate hike in December, many investors considered that downside risks and uncertainty went up.
On Thursday, the AUD/NZD pair went down over 60 pips due to the release of worst-than-expected Australian unemployment data. The surge sent the trend from 1.0830 (close to the resistance line) straight to 1.0762, the same level as last year’s demand spike from the 16th of February. According to official reports, the employment figures went down 7.9K for the month of January against an expected 15K increase, meaning that the unemployment rate went up to 6% versus an expected 5.8%.
Regarding full-time employment, the data shows a 40.6K decrease versus a previous 17K. The part-time employment went up 32.7K from last month’s -18,6K variance. Job participation rate remains unchanged at 65.2%. The data’s impact on the trend was limited by the fall in New Zeeland’s February AZN Consumer Confidence Index, which had a 1.4% drop on a monthly basis hitting 119.7 versus a previous hike of 2.3% to 121.4 in January.
The oil prices rally expended through yesterday, hiking up to $32.00 per barrel although it went back slightly towards the end of the session. The WTI (West Texas Intermediate) barrel traded on a more firm note on Thursday as the API (American Petroleum Institute) report showed a 3 million barrels reduction in crude stockpiles last week.