US data keeps the growth
A smorgasbord of data indicators had arrived since last Friday’s Asia close with the attention zeroing in on both the US jobs report and the Chinese trade data, telling of two very different situations. With the jobs report, a surprisingly positive reading had been seen on the non-farm payrolls front at 266k against the 180k consensus. Although average hourly earnings mildly disappointed at 0.2% month-on-month (MoM), unemployment had returned to historic lows at 3.5%, altogether an encouraging sign for US consumption and the economy alike. Notably, the manufacturing sector payrolls had likewise outperformed the market expectation following earlier concerns of the implication from the General Motors strike in October. Another bright spot had also been the preliminary December UoM sentiment release that surprised at 99.2, up from 96.8 and the 97.0 pencilled in by the market.
In turn for prices, both the comprehensive S&P US 500 and the Dow had charged on in the Friday session with the former seeing all but the utilities sector in green. Following the aid of the jobs report, the CBOE volatility index had likewise receded to the week’s low, a trend we had expected as well on the back of trade hopes. The US Dollar index, measured against six major currencies, similarly bounced on release of the data, easing some of the downward pressure.