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Asia Focus: US Employment Report, Dollar Recovery

US employment impacts dollar

Markets Asia: The US employment slowdown impacts the dollar, and Asian markets await Caixin Services PMI and FOMC speeches.

US Session Recap

The latest employment situation report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) revealed a significant slowdown in job growth, with Non-farm Payrolls (NFPs) falling short of market estimates. April’s NFPs came in at 175K, missing the expected 243K and marking a notable decline from the 12-month average of 242K. The unemployment rate also unexpectedly increased to 3.9% from March’s 3.8%. These disappointing figures triggered a sharp sell-off in the dollar. Concurrently, services activity in the US contracted for the first time in 15 months, as indicated by the ISM Services PMI reading of 49.4, below the estimated 52.0. This report highlighted lower business activity and employment contraction, reflecting a broader slowdown.

While the dollar initially plummeted following the release, it swiftly recovered most of its losses to close at 105.07 by the end of the session, indicating a resilient performance despite the poor data.

Asia Session Outlook

As Asian markets absorb the implications of the US employment report, the Dollar Index (DXY) opened higher, approaching 105.20, while spot gold prices dipped below $2,300/oz. The DXY marked its first weekly decline in five weeks, losing 1%, suggesting potential continued pressure in the week ahead.

Today, the focus shifts to releasing the Caixin Services PMI, with expectations for continued expansion in China’s services sector. A positive surprise could buoy sentiment and support crude oil prices, which experienced a significant decline last week, falling below $79 per barrel.

Asia Focus: US Employment Report, Dollar Recovery

Key Events and Expectations

Later today, two Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) officials, Thomas Barkin and John Williams, are scheduled to speak. Market participants eagerly await insights into the economic outlook and potential monetary policy shifts. Any dovish sentiment expressed could further weaken the dollar.

Central Bank Notes

The FOMC reiterated its commitment to achieving maximum employment and 2% inflation, though recent data suggests a potential stagnation in US growth. The committee remains vigilant about inflation risks and stands ready to adjust policy.

Similarly, central banks across Asia, including the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA), Reserve Bank of New Zealand (RBNZ), Bank of Japan (BoJ), and others, continue to navigate economic challenges while maintaining accommodative or restrictive monetary policies.

The Asia session unfolds against mixed US economic data and ongoing central bank efforts to manage inflation and stimulate growth. Investors brace for potential market volatility in the coming hours as markets await further guidance from key events and data releases, including the Caixin Services PMI and speeches from FOMC officials.

Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only and does not constitute financial advice. Readers are encouraged to seek professional guidance before making any investment decisions.

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