Investors were focused on the US jobs report this afternoon which offered some mixed indicators for the health of the labour market. The jobs figure itself was impressive with a hefty 313K jobs created in January, way above the market consensus for around 200K. However, average hourly earnings were on the soft side as the January print was revised a tenth lower to +2.8% YoY and February slowed to +2.6% YoY. There was a choppy reaction to the data but now the dust has settled we have a weaker Dollar but higher US yields with the 10-year moving above 2.9%. Chicago Fed President Evans did speak shortly after the data and stuck to his view that he said he would prefer to wait a little bit longer than the March meeting to raise rates. In equity space, US markets have moved higher with gains of over one-percent for the major bourses while their European counterparts are also mostly higher at the closing bell (FTSE +0.2%, DAX -0.2%, CAC +0.3%). Elsewhere, oil prices have rallied in recent trade with WTI and Brent adding around three-percent at the recent highs. Gold prices are flat. At the ECB, sources said that staff offered policymakers a scenario where rates would rise in mid-2019 which was met favourably by policymakers from the Northern regions, but Southern officials were more cautious. Still to come today, possible comments from Boston Fed President Rosengren, Evans again plus the Baker Hughes rig count.
* UK NIESR GDP Estimate 3M/3M (Feb) +0.3%
* ECB Governing Council member Lane said they reaffirmed their assessment that current and near term economic prospects are favourable. He added that asset purchases will run until the end of September 2018 or beyond if necessary. Lane later said the ECB are getting closer to the limit of its current policy and will communicate more on what happens next.
* US BLS ‘Jobs Report’ (Feb):
- Non-Farm Payrolls +313K versus +200K expected, previous +200K revised to +239K
- Private Payrolls +287K versus +191K expected, previous +196K revised to +238K
- Manufacturing Payrolls +31K versus +15K expected, previous +15K revised to +25K
- Unemployment Rate 4.1% versus 4.0% expected, previous 4.1%
- Average Hourly Earnings M/M +0.1% versus +0.2% expected, previous +0.3%
- Average Hourly Earnings Y/Y +2.6% versus +2.8% expected, previous +2.9% revised to +2.8
* Canadian Unemployment Rate (Feb) 5.8% versus 5.9% expected, previous 5.9%
- Net Change In Employment +15.4K versus +20K expected, previous -88K
* Chicago Fed President Evans said the February job gains were strong but he would have liked to have seen stronger wage growth. On rates, he said he would prefer to wait a little bit longer and let the March anomalous inflation rate from a year ago fall out.
* US Wholesale Inventories M/M (Jan F) +0.8% versus +0.7% flash, previous +0.6%:
- Wholesale Trade Sales M/M -1.1% versus +0.7% expected, previous +1.2% revised to +0.8%
* According to a German document, the Euro Group are to discuss exchange rates next week.
* US Treasury Secretary Mnuchin said the goal is to deal with tariff exemptions in the 15-day window. He said his expectation is that some other countries may be considered for tariff exemptions over the next two weeks.
* According to sources, ECB staff offered policymakers a scenario where rates would rise in mid-2019 and it was met favourably by policymakers from the Northern regions while Southern officials were more cautious.