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Dollar Trades Mixed after a Strong Payrolls Beat and Soft Wages

The greenback is trading lower against the high-beta currencies despite a strong headline payroll reading of 304,000, much higher than the economists’ forecast of 165,000.  The employment report showed that the prior month was revised lower by 90,000 jobs to 222,000 and that shutdown may have affected the part-time numbers, which saw a rise of almost half a million.  The wage data also came out softer than expected with a 0.1% gain, much lower than the analysts’ forecast of 0.3% and the smallest gain since the fourth quarter of 2017.

The overall picture on the US labor market remains very strong and while Wall Street expects job growth to start to average readings closer to the 160,000 area, it will be hard for the Fed to avoid raising rates at least once if we do not see softness in labor.

The current implied probabilities for rate increases saw hike expectations tick higher for the September, October, and December meetings.  The market still sees the probability much higher for the next move to be a rate cut.  The 10-year Treasury yield rose 2.6 basis points to 2.656%.

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The dollar rose 0.2% against the Japanese yen, but still trades in the middle of this week’s trading range.

Oil prices also erased earlier losses following the strong NFP release.

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