Markets set to focus on non-farm payroll

2 February, 2018

The market is currently taking a breather after the US data today as it's almost time for non-farm payroll. Markets previously have been surprised by the recent swings in the labour market, especially with wage growth not matching the pace, but analysts and economists are now expecting wage growth to pick up, and this in turn could lead to a more aggressive hawkish Fed if that is the case. The Fed has always commented on the lack of wage growth being a key factor in holding it back, but if we were to see that growth then certainly there would be a case for further future hikes at a more aggressive pace. Analysts are expecting 180k, the reality could be much lower, but whatever the case there will be some large swings.

The USDCAD has been a key one for me to watch as of late with all the USD weakness we've seen. Commodities have risen in value as a result, and none more so than oil which has lifted on the back of it. At the same time the NAFTA treaty negotiations are looking positive thus far, and the Canadian economy is positive all round about expectations for further growth. The Bank of Canada has been a little bit more neutral, but that's more to take pause and look at its southern neighbour the US more than anything else.

So far the USDCAD has slipped lower to support at 1.2256 and is looking to extend even lower to 1.2108. While a bit of a slow mover it has been trending fairly reasonably so markets have taken notice and played on that accordingly. If the USD did see some strength from the bulls then resistance at 1.2423 and 1.2585 would be key targets for the market to move to. I still believe that if there were any bulls in this market that the 200 day moving average would be the real test, as the market has been quick to bounce of it and give up and bullish sentiment in the previous months.

The S&P 500 has shown another day of losses on the charts which is quite rare, so much so that people have taken a fair degree of notice. In part this has been driven by the rise in treasury yields which is starting to look like it could compete in the future with the current rates of return from equity markets. Expectations still continue to mount that the market may be slightly overbought and this may be a correction.

For me the S&P 500 is a great technical mover and this can be seen from the levels it plays off. One of the most important things though at present is the 20 day moving average which has been a sign of bullish action lately. Support can be found at 2825, 2806 and 2775, but I would mainly focus on the moving average. Resistance can be found at 2850 and 2875 in the current market climate.

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