by Nicholas Cork
The USD slid lower across the board on Friday night after markets were slightly rattled by the U.S. unemployment report for December showing new jobs missing forecasts and wages rising at the weakest annual pace since 2018, which led to traders considering that the best of the US labor market may be over. Total US employment for 2019 rose by 2.1million, the least since 2011, however the unemployment rate remained at 3.5%, the lowest level since 1969 and in line with market expectation. As an aside, the Unemployment Rate in the United States has averaged 5.73 percent from 1948 until 2019, reaching an all-time high of 10.80 percent in November of 1982 and a record low of 2.50 percent in May of 1953.
The AUD and NZD were the best performers on Friday and as a result AUD cross rates all start the week higher. Worth noting the lack of local economic data releases ahead this week with just housing finance data to be released, which is expected to reflect the continuing recovery in the housing market. Therefore external events will be the main driver for AUDUSD so a close eye will be kept on the news headlines and any errant tweets! Iran will continue to be of interest after large protests have broken out in Tehran calling for the resignation of senior leaders following the admission by authorities, after days of denials, that Iranian forces accidentally downed the Ukrainian passenger plane. And worth noting that China slammed officials from the US and other countries yesterday for congratulating Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen after she was re-elected with a landslide victory in a stunning rebuke of Beijing’s campaign to isolate the self-ruled island. China also commissioned its first fourth generation guided-missile destroyer yesterday, which is expected to accompany aircraft carriers in new battle groups.
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