Forex And Cryptocurrencies Forecast For Dec. 6-10

10 and one 10 us dollar bill

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EUR/USD: Employment and Inflation Decide Everything

Markets are now ruled by two factors: fear of the new COVID-19 strain and monetary tightening by central banks. It is not yet very clear how dangerous the Omicron strain is and how it will affect the economy. Therefore, the main focus is shifting towards central banks and, first of all, the US Federal Reserve. Thus, 19 Reuters experts have named the difference in interest rates as the main market driver, while 15 have pointed to Omicron.

Fed Chairman Jerome Powell's speech in the US Senate on Nov. 30 had a bombshell effect on the markets. And all because analysts and commentators saw a harsh hawkish attitude in his words. As a result, stock indices such as the Dow Jones, S&P 500, Nasdaq, flew further down, while the DXY dollar index rushed up.

The dollar played back 147 points against the euro in less than an hour, lowering the EUR/USD pair from 1.1382 to 1.1235. However, then the markets calmed down as quickly and, in anticipation of data from the US labor market, the pair went up.

Inflation and employment: these two indicators are defining in the current policy of central banks.

The ECB continues to insist that the increase in inflation is temporary, so it makes no sense to take measures to contain it now. Although some people believe that the Bank's Governor Christine Lagarde's speech on Dec. 2 hinted at an imminent tightening of monetary policy, however, nothing was said about specific steps.

Although it would be possible to tackle this problem already. The data on producer prices released last week look frightening: their growth rates accelerated from 16.1% to 21.9% (against the forecast of 18.3%). These figures indicate that inflation in the Eurozone, which has already reached 4.9%, will not stop there and will continue to grow. As for the European labor market, the progress here ­is more than modest: unemployment fell by only 0.1%, from 7.4% to 7.3%.

Statistics from the US labor market look much better. The number of initial applications for unemployment benefits rose less than expected: to 222 thousand against the forecast of 245 thousand, and the four-week moving average of the indicator fell to the lows of March 2020. At the same time, the number of people receiving benefits for the first time since the beginning of the pandemic fell below 2 million, to 1,956 thousand. 

But the number of new jobs created outside the US agricultural sector (NFP) was only 210 thousand, which is significantly less than both the forecast (550 thousand) and the previous value (546 thousand). However, this fall does not look so dramatic against the background of the country's labor shortage. Suffice it to say that, due to a shortage of personnel, the number of laid-off people in the United States dropped to a 28-year low.

The unexpectedly low NFP data is unlikely to have a strong impact on the Fed's decisions. There are many reasons to believe that the Federal Reserve may accelerate the pace of curtailing the monetary stimulus (QE) program at its meeting on Dec. 14-15.

Cleveland Fed President Loretta Mester and her colleagues Mary Daley of San Francisco and Rafael Bostic of Atlanta actively support the idea of accelerating this process. And Randal Quarles, outgoing vice chairman of the Fed, considers such fiscal and monetary incentives harmful to the economy. In his opinion, they have inflated demand so much that it has exceeded the pre-pandemic level, and the high inflation is no longer temporary but permanent.

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