Markets Brace For Today's NFP Release


US Data In FocusToday’s US labour reports for December hold the potential to drive the first major Dollar move of the year. It’s been a quiet start for the greenback as traders await the release of today’s data. Earlier in the week, the December FOMC minutes confirmed that the Fed is now firmly in hawkish mode with the bank looking to wind down its balance sheet in the coming months and then begin lifting rates. As of that meeting, the Fed is now projecting three hikes this year, up from two prior. However, the bank noted that movements will remain linked to incoming data and broader developments. With that in mind, there are two way risks to be noted. For USD bulls, this means that should data strengthen ahead of forecasts as we move through the year, these three hikes could become four or, the scale of the hikes themselves might be increased.NFP ForecastsLooking at the projections for today then. The headline NFP figure is forecast to come in at 426k, more than double the 210k seen in November. Additionally, average hourly earnings are forecast to tick higher to 0.4% from 0.3%. Finally, the unemployment rate is forecast to fall back again to 4.1% from 4.2% prior.FX Market ImplicationsShould we see these projections satisfied, this will be a solid boost for USD at the start of the year. With the Fed fully in favour of pushing ahead with tightening, data is the real key to determining USD price action moving forward this year. Given that many other central banks within the G10 are still firmly fixed on maintaining an easing presence, any US data strength today is likely to further widen the divide between the Fed and central banks such as the BOJ, ECB and SNB. With this in mind, these currencies look probe to greater weakening against USD on the back of any upside data strength today.Gold ImpactGold prices are likely to also come under fire if we see a firm USD move on the back of today’s data. With the world fighting to look beyond omicron risks and with lots of positive headlines about the pandemic entering its final stages, gold is likely to see reduced safe haven demand moving through Q1, leaving it more vulnerable to downside shocks on any USD data beats.Technical ViewsUSDJPYThe breakout above the 2021 highs has seen the market stalling into a test of the 116.07 level for now. However, with the retail market firmly short the pair and with MACD and RSI both bullish, while price holds above the 115.45 region, the focus is on a continuation higher towards 117.02 next.

Source: Tickmill

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