Investor confidence turned fragile overnight as key economic data from the US reignited fears of continued weakness in the employment sector. The ADP employment data fall well short of expectations recording a cut of 23,000 jobs in March against a forecast of 41,000 new jobs created. The market was particularly swayed by this data as it is seen as a precursor for Friday’s Non-farm Payrolls which are expected to show the US economy created 192,000 new jobs in March. As a result we saw the greenback retreat against major counterparts with the Dollar index closed 40 pts lower at 81.07.
The Chicago Purchasing Managers Index also disappointed the market, with the manufacturing gauge falling to an index level of 58.8 in March from a previous level of 62.6. Analysts had expected a more moderate drop to 61.9. US Factory orders rose 0.6 percent against the expected 0.5 percent in February. Januarys result was also upwardly revised from 1.7 percent to 2.5.
Across the Atlantic, Euro-Zone Consumer Price Index rose above estimates to record an annual inflation rate of 1.5 percent from previous growth of 0.9 percent. Economists had expected a more moderate rise of 1.1 percent. As expected the Euro-Zone unemployment rate crept up from 9.9 percent to 10 percent in March.
Locally, the Aussie dollar saw little upside overnight however was able to remain in the high 91’s given greenback pressure on the back of the less than convincing employment data. Economic feedback in yesterday’s domestic session also capped possible upside for the local unit with Retail Sales contracting 1.4 percent in February against the expected rise of 0.3 percent. Building approvals also disappointed to fall 3.3 percent in February against an expected 2.1 percent growth.
Key data today includes Trade Balance figure and TD Securities will also release their month inflation gauge. At the time of writing the Aussie dollar is trading near day lows of 91.5 US cents.