The latest release from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics showed Non-Farm Employment Change increased 288,000 in June, with more than half of the fresh jobs offering better than average wages. The latest increase mirrors that of April’s data, and is the 4th consecutive monthly increase above the 200,000 level. The Unemployment Rate also improved to 6.1 percent from 6.3 percent in the previous month. Meanwhile, Pending Home Sales surged 6.1 percent in May (versus 1.4 percent expectations), the most in over four years.
In other news, the European Central Bank and Reserve Bank of Australia both decided to keep rates unchanged (0.15 percent and 2.50 percent, respectively).
In Australia, the Australian Bureau of Statistics declared Building Approvals rose 9.9 percent in May, following three consecutive monthly declines. Retail Sales posted another marginal dip in May, while the Trade Balance widened to –A$1.91 billion as exports declined.
Gold saw another tight range trading week as bulls and bears get attracted to the $1,300 level. Majority of the trading activity has been above the level, but we could clearly see the level’s magnetism. We could continue to see the same thing in the coming week, but bulls should take the chance to keep their support at this level so they can keep pushing northward.
Oil hit its second straight downweek as the $107 level continued to prevent any upside push. Price pierced through and closed the week below the critical support at $104, opening up doors for a move back toward the $100 level in the coming weeks.
EURUSD made a considerable effort to reach and break the 1.3700 level this week, however they ultimately failed. Not only that, the 60-pip drop on Thursday gave the pair a bearish weekly close below the critical 1.3650 area. This puts the 1.3500 level at risk of another attack in the coming weeks. Bulls must prevent this from happening.
GBPUSD achieved its fifth consecutive bullish weekly close on the back of an easy but strong push through the 1.7100 level. If buyers can protect this level from downside attacks, they can continue to push for higher highs.
USDJPY mirrored the prior week’s trading range, but this time the pair closed higher – just above the 102 level. Could bulls keep this up in the coming week? For them to do that, the key is for 102 to hold throughout this coming week, while they push for a break of 103 as soon as possible.
The Week Ahead
Monday’s news will be sparsely scattered throughout the day, starting with Australia’s ANZ Job Advertisements; Germany’s Industrial Production; Eurogroup meetings; Canada’s Building Permits, Ivey PMI, and Bank of Canada’s Business Outlook Survey.
Tuesday will be kicked off with New Zealand’s NZIER Business Confidence, followed by Japan’s Current Account; Germany’s Trade Balance; Switzerland’s Retail Sales and CPI; UK’s Halifax HPI, Manufacturing Production and Industrial Production; ECOFIN meetings; US JOLTS Job Openings.
On Wednesday, traders will expect some volatility with Australia’s Westpac Consumer Sentiment; China’s PPI and CPI; Canada’s Housing Starts; FOMC Meeting Minutes.
Thursday will be fully-packed with New Zealand’s Business NZ manufacturing Index; Japan’s Core Machinery Orders and Tertiary Industry Activity; Australia’s jobs data and MI Inflation Expectations; China’s Trade balance and New Loans; ECB Monthly Bulletin; UK Trade Balance, Official Bank Rate and MPC Rate Statement; US Jobless Claims.
Friday ends the week with a significant decline in news activity. There will only be Australia’s Home Loans; Canada’s jobs data; and US Federal Budget Balance.