NFP Results help Greenback to March ahead

Monday, March 8, 2010

Last Friday, the US Bureau of Labor Statistics released the highly anticipated Non-Farm Employment Change, marking the end of one of the busiest weeks for the forex online market this year.

While the U.S Non-Farm Payrolls (referred to as NFP) declined for the 25th time in the past 26th months, the world’s largest economy shed a smaller-than-expected 36,000 jobs throughout February - to a seasonally adjusted 129.5 million. For over the past year, this vital economic indicator has consistently showed a drop in the number of employed Americans. While last month analysts predicted that the NFP would re-enter positive territory and the number of employed Americans would increase by 10K, the Non-Farm Payrolls continued to fall throughout January by 20K.

Economists had predicted that the NFP for February would fall by an additional 56,000, pushing the unemployment rate up by 0.1% to 9.8%. However, Friday’s NFP showed that U.S employers cut a smaller than expected 36,000 jobs throughout February, leaving the unemployment rate steady at 9.7% - bolstering views that the labor market is on the brink of a full economic recovery.

The dollar posted its biggest five-day gain versus the Japanese Yen in two weeks, as risk appetite returned to the market following the better than expected NFP. Last week the greenback rose 1.5% to 90.28 Yen, from 88.97 on February 26th. Following the announcement of the NFP, the USD gained as much as 1.76% against the yen, the biggest intra-day move since December 11th of last year. The volatile pair closed at 90.265, up 1.3% from the day’s open.

The Canadian dollar posted its biggest weekly gain in two months versus the greenback as the improvement in its largest trading partner’s outlook could provide a boost for Canada’s economy. The USD/CAD pair fell 0.19% on Friday, as the Loonie rose to a six-week high of 0.972USD. Later today (1315GMT) will publish the number of Housing Starts for February - the number of new residential buildings on which construction was begun during the previous month. Economists expect 190,000 starts, annualized basis, up from 185,600 the previous month.

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