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MARKETS: Solid NFP seals March hike deal

10 March, 2017

By Lukman Otunuga, Research Analyst at FXTM

Market expectations of a probable US interest rate increase in March were fully cemented on Friday by February’s solid non-farm payrolls (NFP) headline figure of 235,000 which illustrated steady growth in the US labour markets.

Although average hourly earnings may have missed expectations, the unemployment rate fell to 4.7% simply displaying US labour force resilience in a period of uncertainty. Economic data from the States continues to follow a positive trajectory and with the positive US jobs data adding to the basket, the prerequisites needed for the Federal Reserve to pull the trigger next week have been successfully achieved.
Although some concerns may still linger in the background regarding the ongoing Trump uncertainties, Friday’s data has visually shown that wages grew and employment rose in the first month of Donald Trump’s presidency. The overall economic outlook for the US continues to look encouraging, with further gains expected on the Dollar as speculators bet on the Fed raising US interest rates beyond March.
The depreciation of the Dollar following the firm US jobs data has nothing to do with a change in sentiment, but potential profit-taking ahead of the weekend. The technical correction may come to an abrupt end with bulls back in action when the Fed raises US interest rates next week.
From a technical standpoint, the Dollar Index bulls need a solid break and weekly close above 102.00 to open a path higher towards 102.50.

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