US Payrolls Dent Dollar Gains

USD

The U.S. dollar weakened on Friday amid the jobs report which dented the market sentiment which was already turning sour. Concerns of a global slowdown engulfed the equity markets. This sent the U.S stock markets weaker with a minor risk on sentiment that prevailed.

China

Data from China showed that dollar-denominated exports had fallen 20.7% in February. This was a bigger than expected slump as economists forecast a decline of just 4.8%. Imports were down 5.2% against expectations of a 1.4% decline. The trade surplus for China came to $4.12 billion which was much below the $26.38 billion anticipated.

Over the weekend, China’s inflation data showed that consumer prices eased to an annual pace of 1.5% on the year in February as had been expected. This marked a weaker pace compared to the 1.7% increase the month before. Producer prices index rose 0.1% on the year as expected.

Europe

Economic data on the day showed that Germany’s factory orders fell 2.6% on the month in January, missing estimates of a 0.5% increase. January’s decline followed December’s gain of a revised 0.9% increase.

French industrial production figures were also better than expected, rising 1.3% on the month. This beat estimates of a 0.1% increase while Italian industrial production rose 1.3%.

NY Trading Session

The NY trading session saw Canada’s housing starts adding just 173k which missed estimates of an increase to 204k. The monthly employment report showed that Canada added 55.9k jobs during February. This surpassed estimates of a 0.6k increase for the month. The unemployment rate held steady at 5.8% as expected.

The main highlight of the day was the U.S. payrolls report. Following the weak release of ADP private payrolls, data showed that the economy added just 20k jobs during February. This missed estimates of a 180k increase. Data for January was revised up to show 311k jobs added during the month.

Average hourly earnings rose 0.4% beating estimates of a 0.3% increase. Meanwhile, the unemployment rate dipped to 3.8% against forecasts of a drop to 3.9%. In January, the U.S. unemployment rate came in at 4.0%. Building permits and housing starts data released later in the day showed an increase of 1.35 million and 1.23 million respectively.

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